GMA  HOLDS  TALKS  WITH  TOP  NOKIA  EXECUTIVES  IN  FINLAND

HELSINKI, FINLAND,
SEPTEMBER 10, 2006 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - Nokia president and chief executive officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told President Arroyo here yesterday that the Philippines remains the world’s "texting capital."

Mrs. Arroyo met with Nokia’s top officials in a meeting at the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel at the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

A Finnish company, Nokia is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones.

During their half-hour meeting, Mrs. Arroyo invited Kallasvuo to set up Nokia’s regional research and development headquarters in the Philippines. The telecommunications company reportedly spends some $2 billion annually on research and development, or R&D.

Kallasvuo has expressed interest in the Philippine government’s creation of a "Cyber-Corridor" to attract IT investors as well as Nokia’s successful venture in the Philippines.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila, who was present during the meeting, said Mrs. Arroyo and Kallasvuo agreed to work on increasing the use of Philippine-made electronic parts for Nokia products to help reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, which is in favor of Finland.

Favila also said Kallasvuo would soon visit the Philippines to attend an Information Technology (IT) convention in Cebu City.

Nokia showed the visiting Philippine government officials the fourth generation mobile phones or the so-called 4G devices that Nokia is manufacturing.

Mrs. Arroyo also met with top executives of Wartsila, a major Finnish power firm, led by its chief executive office Ole Johansson.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said both sides agreed to work on sharing technology on energy efficiency and development of cheap alternative energy sources.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja met separately and discussed the Middle East situation, promotion of democracy and support for the peace process.

During the meeting, Tuomioja assured Romulo of EU’s commitment to strengthen the peace agenda in the Middle East. At an international donor conference on Lebanon held in Stockholm, Sweden last month, the EU pledged 42 million euros as its first contribution to Lebanon’s recovery and rehabilitation.

Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU. Mrs. Arroyo also briefly met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. — With Pia Lee-Brago


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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