Finland to invest in high-growth companies solving development challenges in Asia

Nearly one hundred Finnish companies will be visiting the Official Slush Partner side event ‘Go Global with Development Banks and the UN’ at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on 1 December. The event will be organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Business Finland.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio encourages Finnish companies to pursue entry to emerging markets. “Finnish companies possess great expertise in the development and deployment of new technologies. Development finance institutions and the UN know the markets and can be valuable partners.”

The side event offers companies the opportunity to meet venture capital experts from leading international development banks and UN agencies looking for innovative partnerships. These international organisations are on the lookout for disruptive technologies and start-ups.

“All kinds of Finnish companies can find opportunities in these markets and stakeholders interested in cooperation. Sustainable development and profitable business are a good combination,” says Riku Mäkelä, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Business Finland.

The Asian Development Bank has granted seed financing to the Finnish company Caidio, which develops artificial intelligence based quality assurance solutions for concrete construction. As a result, Caidio has been able to expand in the Asian markets faster than before.

“Asia is urbanising rapidly, and it is important that this process is sustainable,” says Aku Wilenius, CEO of Caidio. “The Asian Development Bank has opened doors for us and brought us critical visibility so that we can help make the Asian concrete industry more environmentally friendly.”

Foreign Ministry to promote the channelling of capital to impact businesses

The ADB Ventures fund of the Asian Development Bank is looking for investment partners. Finland’s Foreign Ministry will announce at the event on 1 December 2023 that it will invest EUR 20 million in the ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1a.

ADB Ventures invests in high-growth companies engaged in developing digital solutions that contribute to the clean energy transition, the adaptation to extreme weather events and the promotion of gender equality. In addition to its own funds, ADB Ventures aims to mobilise USD 200 million in private capital.

“We cannot achieve sustainable development without the private sector’s innovative solutions. Our investment supports the development and deployment of such solutions,” says Under-Secretary of State Pasi Hellman from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The Foreign Ministry’s development policy investments always aim to achieve positive development impacts in developing countries. However, the invested capital is expected to flow back to Finland with a small profit. ADB Ventures invests in companies that are expected to improve the climate resilience of one million people and SMEs and to promote gender equality at work.

“Developing Asia needs more investments in climate and gender action, and while ADB is catalyzing the spread of these solutions across borders, the impact of our support is amplified when we work closely with longstanding partners such as Finland, ” said ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Suzanne Gaboury. Finland’s support greatly enhances our capacity to increase development impact in developing Asia; in particular, supporting entrepreneurs with transformative solutions that reduce the region’s sizable contribution to carbon emissions, helping its communities become more resilient, and promoting gender equality.

ADB Ventures can even invest in Finnish high-growth companies that are developing technologies to help the clean transition in the emerging markets of Asia.

Presentations of the investors and UN organisations attending the event Go Global with Development Banks and the UN:

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio encourages Finnish companies to pursue entry to emerging markets. “Finnish companies possess great expertise in the development and deployment of new technologies. Development finance institutions and the UN know the markets and can be valuable partners.”

The side event offers companies the opportunity to meet venture capital experts from leading international development banks and UN agencies looking for innovative partnerships. These international organisations are on the lookout for disruptive technologies and start-ups.

“All kinds of Finnish companies can find opportunities in these markets and stakeholders interested in cooperation. Sustainable development and profitable business are a good combination,” says Riku Mäkelä, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Business Finland.

The Asian Development Bank has granted seed financing to the Finnish company Caidio, which develops artificial intelligence based quality assurance solutions for concrete construction. As a result, Caidio has been able to expand in the Asian markets faster than before.

“Asia is urbanising rapidly, and it is important that this process is sustainable,” says Aku Wilenius, CEO of Caidio. “The Asian Development Bank has opened doors for us and brought us critical visibility so that we can help make the Asian concrete industry more environmentally friendly.”

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