Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020
Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä, Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä signed on the last piece of the construction. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020
  • Around 80-85% of the around 80-85 percent of the pavilion’s materials will be reused and recycled after the exhibition is over
  • Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 World Happiness Report

DUBAI: Finland revealed its Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion, named Snow Cape, during a recent ceremony at the site.

Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä, and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä signed on the last piece of the construction.

The structure is located in the Mobility District, and around 80-85 percent of its materials will be reused and recycled after the exhibition is over.

“We want visitors to Snow Cape to immerse themselves in our deep connection to nature and sustainability. The values of happiness, circular economy and innovations are being showcased throughout the pavilion and exhibition design,” Keinälä said.

Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

“Finnish happiness is based on the symbiosis of people, nature and technology. This deep connection is the origin of the quality of everyday Finnish life and the Finland pavilion communicates this happiness,” Keinälä said.

Snow Cape’s design was created by Finland-based JKMM Architects and aims to combine the local culture of the UAE and Finnish tradition.

“The pavilion was inspired by the white blanket of snow that covers the Finnish landscape every winter. The main entrance was designed to elicit thoughts of a traditional Arabic tent, seamlessly integrating features from both cultures,” Partner and Architect at JKMM Architects Teemu Kurkela said.

Kurkela explained that they had many options to pick from, such as forests to represent the Finnish nature, but decided to go with the snow cape.

“Since the climate here is very hot, lots of sun and sand and dessert. What is the extreme contrast to that? In that sense, it’s the winter and the snow,” the architect said.

JKMM also designed the Finnish pavilion, Kirnu, in Shanghai World Expo 2010, which won the first prize in the design competition.

As for how Finland’s participation will reflect on the relations with UAE and the region, the ambassador believes it will make the connections tighter.

“I think the fact that 100 Finnish companies decided to take part in Expo is the clearest sign ever about their interest to reach out to Dubai, to the UAE and to the wider region here,” Nissilä said.

The ambassador also hopes these companies use the exhibition as a platform to reinforce relations with partners and find new ones.

“I’m hoping that expo will bring the economic and trade cooperation to a totally new level, with new partnerships found and new deals made” Nissilä said.


France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
Updated 17 January 2021

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat

France wants end to US-Europe trade spat
  • All eyes on President-elect Biden to resolve disputes between partners

PARIS: The EU and the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden should suspend a trade dispute to give themselves time to find common ground, France’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Sunday.

“The issue that’s poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology and Airbus,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview.

He said he hoped the sides could find a way to settle the dispute. “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium,” he added.

At the end of December the US moved to boost tariffs on French and German aircraft parts in the Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute, but the bloc decided to hold off on retaliation for now.

The EU is planning to present a World Trade Organization (WTO) reform proposal in February and is willing to consider reforms to restrain the judicial authority of the WTO’s dispute-settlement body.

The US has for years complained that the WTO Appellate Body makes unjustified new trade rules in its decisions and has blocked the appointment of new judges to stop this, rendering the body inoperable.

The Trump administration, which leaves office on Wednesday, had threatened to impose tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other goods in retaliation for France’s digital services tax, which it said discriminated against US tech firms.

Overturning decades of free trade consensus was a central part of Trump’s “America First” agenda. In 2018, declaring that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he shocked allies by imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from most of the world.

While Trump later dropped tariffs against Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Korea in return for concessions, he kept them in place against more than $7 billion worth of EU metal. The bloc retaliated with tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of US goods, from orange juice and blue jeans to Harley Davidson bikes, and took its case to the WTO.

While Biden promises to be more predictable than Trump, he is not expected to lift the steel tariffs immediately. Even if he wants to, he could run into reluctance from producers in “rust belt” states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania that secured his election win.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of trade think tank ECIPE, said the US was unlikely to award Europe a “free pass,” noting that countries that had offered concessions to have their tariffs lifted could complain if Europe won better treatment.

Resolving future trade disputes could become easier, if Biden reverses Trump policy that paralyzed the WTO by blocking the appointment of judges to its appellate body.