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Finnish-Spanish relations: A closer look at trade dynamics under Ambassador Sari Rautio

Ambassador Sari Rautio portrait
Ambassador Sari Rautio

Since the appointment of Sari Rautio as the Finnish Ambassador to Spain in 2021, the bilateral Finnish-Spanish relations have entered a new era, particularly in terms of trade and economic cooperation. Ambassador Rautio, with her rich background in security policy and crisis management, has played a pivotal role in this continuous strengthening of ties.

The trade relationship between the two nations is both diverse and robust. In 2017, the total trade volume was reported at 2.27 billion euros, which included Finnish exports to Spain valued at 1.07 billion euros and Spanish imports at around 1.2 billion euros. This trade dynamic has seen a significant development over the years. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Finland's exports to Spain amounted to 1.22 billion euros in 2022, indicating a steady and robust recovery in the trade relationship between the two countries.

Chart with Finnish export volumes to Spain (US$)
Finnish export volumes to Spain (US$)

The key sectors in Finnish exports to Spain include traditional products like paper and cardboard, as well as industrial machinery, engines, and chemical industry products. Spain's export portfolio to Finland is equally diverse, focusing on vehicles, iron, steel, and a range of food products, particularly fruits and vegetables.

The service sector trade between Finland and Spain has also shown considerable growth, reaching approximately 1.36 billion euros in 2017. Despite a trade imbalance, with Finland experiencing a deficit, the service sector remains a significant area of bilateral trade. Finnish service exports mainly encompass telecommunications and IT, whereas Spain's exports are largely driven by tourism and transport services.

The tenure of Ambassador Rautio has not only maintained these economic exchanges but also set them on a path for further expansion. Her deep understanding of security and crisis management has added a valuable dimension to these bilateral relations, aligning with shared EU policy interests.

Home of the Finnish Embassy in Madrid, Spain
Home of the Finnish Embassy in Madrid, Spain

The tourism industry continues to be a major pillar in this relationship, with around 800,000 Finnish tourists visiting Spain annually, which significantly contributes to the service trade balance. The number of Spanish tourists exploring Finland is also on the rise, further enriching the cultural and economic exchange.

Furthermore, over 250 Finnish companies are operating in Spain, with more than a hundred micro-enterprises in the Costa del Sol region, serving the Finnish community and diversifying the economic engagement. This vibrant business landscape, supported by Ambassador Rautio's diplomatic efforts, is a testament to the dynamic and evolving Finnish-Spanish bilateral relationship.


"At iBerotech, we work tirelessly to play a pivotal role while guiding Finnish organisations to successfully establish and grow in the Spanish market, leveraging our expertise in B2B sales and strategic partnership development." - Julio Gomez, Founder and CEO.


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