Mr. Wille Eerola, Hon. Consul General of Pakistan and Chairman of Finland Pakistan Business Council, returned to Pakistan after 18 months. Due the pandemic the annual spring tour didn’t happen this year, so this trip included plenty of activities in education, science, and energy in Karachi, Quetta, Lahore and Islamabad.

HCG was hosting a Finnish delegation on education with Mr. Antti Kaskinen, CEO of Finnish Global Education Solutions (FGES) who signed agreements with Iqra University and Teachers Resource Center earlier this year. During this trip the first physical meetings were held between all the parties.

Furthermore FGES and Iqra University signed two additional agreements, one about Finnish school opening under the Iqra’s school platform in 2022 and other one supporting the quality of education at Iqra University’s campus in Balochistan. Click here to video of signing ceremony at IU and visit at the campus on the occasion of Iqbal Day.

Please click here for photos of the visit of HCG Wille Eerola and Mr. Antti Kaskinen together with Mr. Hunaid Lakhani, Founder of Iqra University

Preparations for a Finnish School in Karachi are already under the planning process and school would start to operate with Finnish staff members in fall 2022. “This will be major milestone between Finland and Pakistan and we are so happy to be supporting this process”, Mr. Wille Eerola said at the signing ceremony.

ARY News about Iqra and FGES cooperation.

Finnish delegation lead by HCG also visited Quetta in the Province of Balochistan, where meetings were held with newly elected Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Mr. Roshan Ali Shaiks, Secretary of Science and IT, and Mr. Saeed Ahmed Sarparah, CEO of Board of Investment and Trade, Government of Balochistan. Finnish educational institutions and companies offering environmental friendly waste-to-energy solutions as well as building a low carbon special industrial zone were introduced and negotiations are continued later this fall.

HCG Wille Eerola meeting with the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo
HCG Wille Eerola received the traditional scarf of Balochistan and shield from CEO of Board of Investment of Government of Balochistan, Mr Saeed Ahmed Sarparah and Mr. Roshan Ali Shaikh, Secretary Science and IT.

Visit also included talks with some of the leading educational institutions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

HCG Wille Eerola also visited the brand new MagnifiScience Center in Karachi. Consulate General has been actively supporting cooperation between Science Centers in Karachi and Heureka in Finland. “This was just an outstanding experience, I am very proud of the team behind the science center and this is exactly what we need to support in the future – cooperation in science and education between Finland and Pakistan is the route to developing Pakistan too”, HCG Wille Eerola said during his visit in Karachi, accompanied by Mr. Amin Rammal and Mr. Anwar Rammal, hosted by Mr. Christoph S. Sprung and Ms. Hiba Zubairi.

From right: HCG Wille Eerola, Ms. Hiba Zubairi, Mr. Christops S. Sprung, Mr. Anwar Rammal, Mr. Amin Rammal.

MagnifiScience in Karachi.

During the visit HCG also met with many of the leading representatives of Government of Pakistan, including Mr. Azfar Ahsan, Minister of State, Board of Investments, several representatives of Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Hammad Azhar, Minister of Energy and Dr. Arshad Mahmood, Secretary of Petroleum.

From right, Mr. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Minister of State, Board of Investment, Ms. Ayla Majjid, World Economic Forum, HCG Wille Eerola and Mr. Syed Zaheer Mehdi, VP of Engro

“All these talks held over a couple of weeks in Pakistan are very important for Finland-Pakistan relations. Not only like a sign of return of more normal life where we can actually meet, talk and plan the future in the same room together, interact without any online tools or network issues, but also when new ideas start flying around for better future through education, science, energy or growing trade. Let’s get ready for 2022!”, HCG Wille Eerola summarized his first tour and visit in Pakistan since April 2021 due the Covid19 pandemic.

HCG Wille Eerola joined Mr. Hunaid Lakhani, the Founder of Iqra University and Dr. Muhammad Ali, Vice Cancelor of Iqra University’s Balochistan Campus after the tree planting ceremony at the Iqra’s first campus, and where the Finnish school will be starting in 2022.