21:01 28 April 2021
Post by: Warsaw Business Journal

Finnish ambassador about the vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

Top diplomats in Warsaw tell the WBJ about the vaccine race, economy and women’s rights. one of them is Juha Ottman, Finnish ambassador

Finnish ambassador about the vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

How successful has the Covid-19 vaccine drive been in your country?

Our readiness to take the Covid-19 vaccine is very high. The positive attitude toward vaccines has been growing. About 75-80 percent of Finns have declared readiness to take the jab, surveys show. This is due to the overall positive attitude toward vaccines demonstrated by the popularity of seasonal influenza shots – about half of all small children and senior citizens take the flu jab annually. Currently, about 9 percent of the 5.5 million population in Finland has received the first Covid shot. Like in other EU countries, the shortage of vaccines has slowed down the vaccination program.   

What is the economic forecast for your country for the first half of 2021?

According to the EC’s latest forecast, Finland’s GDP will rebound to 2.8 percent in 2021 after the estimated 3.1 percent GDP drop in 2020 caused by the pandemic. Forecasts by our central bank foresee the GDP to reach the level of 2.2 percent. The domestic demand in the first half of 2021 is expected to stay subdued but the second half of 2021 should bring a boost to consumption and investments. Of course, the continued international cooperation and the speed of vaccinations will have a major impact on the pace of Finland’s recovery.

In light of the recent near-total abortion ban in Poland, how strong are women's rights in your country?

Finland is the first country in the world to grant full political rights to women in 1906. Women’s political participation in Finland is more visible today than ever before. In parliamentary elections in April 2019, women won 47 percent of seats in our parliament and all five coalition parties in the government are chaired by women, including PM Sanna Marin. Finland scores well in international comparisons on gender equality – 3rd in the Global Gender Gap Report by WEF – but there is still room for improvement when it comes to the gender pay gap or domestic violence.

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