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Gašparovič expects impetus from Finnish visit

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič expects his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen, who is arriving for a three-day visit to Slovakia on April 18, to bring further impetus to bilateral relations, Gasparovic's spokesman said April 17.

Finland is a prospective recipient of Slovak mechanical engineering and automotive industry exports, he added. Thanks to the country's reduction in taxes and custom duties, car sales are on the rise there. Finnish companies might also be interested in forklift trucks and steel products, the TASR news agency reported.

Many Finnish firms have established themselves in Slovakia but so far investments have been relatively low. There are 12 Finnish joint ventures in Slovakia with a total investment of Sk214 million (€5.5 million).

Gašparovič is scheduled to meet Halonen on Tuesday for talks on the EU Constitutional Treaty and the priorities of the EU-Finnish presidency in the latter half of 2006.

During the visit Halonen is scheduled to meet Premier Mikuláš Dzurinda and Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Viliam Veteška.

Halonen is Finland's first-ever female president. She took office in February 2000 and has shown concern for human rights, the spread of democracy and civil society.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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