Connecting Libya 2012 – A Summit of top Libyan telecom                    Professionals                The Rixos Tripoli, ...
known to have special expertise. Also our companies show increasinginterest in Libya.This has already led to an active exc...
particular, the theme of today’s meeting. Cooperation on information andcommunication technology is a natural continuation...
billionth living person on our planet was born. The United NationsPopulation Fund said that the baby was born into a world...
As you know, Finland has long been one of the frontrunners in developmentand utilization of information and communication ...
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Finnish Ambassador Presentation

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Finnish Ambassador Presentation

  1. 1. Connecting Libya 2012 – A Summit of top Libyan telecom Professionals The Rixos Tripoli, 28th May 2012Distinguished Minister of Telecommunications,Dear Participants,Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure to participate in this summit of top Libyan telecom professionals. Coming into the room, Im aware of how we are brought together by our common interest in the opportunities and challenges of investing in Libya and helping to rebuild and develop Libyan telecom sector. But let me start by congratulating the people of Libya who – just a year ago - relentlessly fought for its freedom and reached a turning point in the history of the country. Libya is finally free to bring forward its transition to democracy, rule of law, human rights and social justice. Libya is also nearing a key moment in its democratic transition with upcoming elections in June. Although Libyans’ expectations of concrete progress in the post-revolution period might understandably relate strongest to security, there are also, amongst ordinary citizens, high expectations to see a coherent process of rebuilding institutions and laying foundations for a functioning society. It gives me a particular pleasure to be able to say in this conference that after many years of absence Finland wants to come back to Libya. During the last few months, my government has, in various occasions, expressed its willingness to contribute to reconstruction efforts in Libya and to provide the necessary expertise and know-how particularly in areas where Finland is 1
  2. 2. known to have special expertise. Also our companies show increasinginterest in Libya.This has already led to an active exchange of delegations of experts invarious fields to help Libya. In April, for instance, a Finnish expert teamvisited Libya in order to help to assess the needs in the Libyan health sector,eroded by the civil war. Another team visited Libya to support Libyanforensic experts to investigate the crimes committed during the war. We arecurrently discussing possibilities for co-operation in the field of educationand in supporting the forming of Libyan police.Very soon, a Libyan delegation will visit Finland to discuss possibilities for co-operation in housing and city planning, with a particular attention to waterand waste management and environmentally sustainable construction. In allthese sectors, and in many others, Finland is happy to share its expertiseand technological solutions with Libya.Let me also mention one crucial element for building a solid and wellfunctioning society; that is the role of the civil society that was veryrestricted in Libya under the previous regime. It is indeed a huge challengebut also an enormous opportunity to transform the energy of the citizens,all civil society, released by the Revolution, into concrete and efficient workthat contributes to building a new democratic Libya.Women can play an important role in this process as was expressed by thoseLibyan women – many of them candidates in the June elections - whoparticipated in the Finnish-Libyan workshop held two weeks ago here inTripoli which brought together women from the Finnish parliament and thefuture women political leaders in Libya.Ladies and gentlemen,Libya and Finland share a strong interest in development in general, and inutilizing the power of information and communication technology in 2
  3. 3. particular, the theme of today’s meeting. Cooperation on information andcommunication technology is a natural continuation of this effort.Stimulating economic growth is a key imperative for any country – andespecially for a country such as Libya, undergoing a major reconstruction. InFinland we believe strongly that information and communication technology(ICT) is a key enabler to economic development. Independent researchshows that 10% increase in Broadband Penetration increases the GDP of acountry by 1.4 % points per year.Today we can say that electronic communications play a key part in theFinn’s daily life; 86% of Finns aged between 15 and 79 use the Internet on aweekly basis. 67% of Finns have made purchases online. Two millionhouseholds have broadband connection (of population of 5.3 million). Alsoglobally, Internet is the most significant source of innovation and growth. Itreaches already two billion people, three billion in 2015, all over the world.Traffic in Internet grows by 40% per year.In early 2011 we passed another landmark – the mark of 5 billion mobileusers in the world and today we are roughly at the level of 5.3 billion users.This makes the mobile technologies the fastest growing technology with thewidest demographic reach in the human history. These figures show thatthe development and growth of information society is irreversible and thatwe simply cannot afford to not keep up with this development when therest of the word is striding ahead.This growth effect is even stronger in emerging markets. In other words,broadband networks contribute to economic development, and, therefore,they should be made widely available – at affordable prices – and shouldbecome an integral part of national development strategies.Looking at the past, it can be said that telecommunications havetransformed the world we know around us. Im sure that many of you recallthat the United Nations declared at the end of last year that the seventh 3
  4. 4. billionth living person on our planet was born. The United NationsPopulation Fund said that the baby was born into a world of contradiction.Whatever the future holds for the young baby, it is clear that innovation willbe a huge transformational force in her life, helping her – and the societyinto which shes been born – to overcome the challenges, and seize theopportunities ahead.President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has once said that ”In 10 short years,what was once an object of luxury and privilege, the mobile phone, hasbecome a basic necessity in Africa.” Libya is in the forefront of thisdevelopment with over ten million mobile connections.ICT is recognized by many as being vital in our societies, because it is a keyenabler for innovation and progress in almost every other area of business.Its becoming accepted that connectivity is the fourth primary factor ofproduction, alongside land, labor and capital goods.Ladies and gentlemen,The Libyan Information and Telecommunication sector is gearing up to playa leading role in the modernization initiative for creation of a new andprogressive Libya, and wants to draw on the best technology experiences ofworld leading innovators. Finland wants to be a partner in this adventure. Iwould like to use this opportunity to announce two concrete steps towardscloser cooperation in this area.Firstly, recognizing our shared interests and guided by mutually beneficialcooperation, we have initiated signing of a Memorandum of Understandingon cooperation in information and communication technology betweenFinland and Libya. 4
  5. 5. As you know, Finland has long been one of the frontrunners in developmentand utilization of information and communication technology. Finland hasbeen repeatedly ranked near the top in World Economic Forum globalcompetitiveness index as well as in different rankings on the usage of ICT inprivate as well as public sector. We have our own challenges, such as rapidlyaging population and continuous pressure on increased productivity to fueleconomic growth. In both examples, ICT plays a key role going forward.Secondly, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland would be honored toinvite a Libyan business delegation visit to Finland in the coming months, inorder to demonstrate to you in person the best Finland has to offer ininformation and communication technology by the way of our leadingcompanies, universities and regulatory initiatives. Ministry for ForeignAffairs of Finland is the inviting party, while Nokia Siemens Networks haskindly promised to (cover costs for hotels and transportation in Finland –thus excluding flight costs between Finland and Libya – and has promised)host the delegation at its state-of-the-art demo center next to itsheadquarters in Espoo, Finland.Ladies and Gentlemen,This event today is a tangible token of the co-operation between Finlandand Libya on information and communication technology. May this so-operation be long-lasting and productive. 5

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