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The visiting Finnish trade minister voiced hope Friday that her country will increase exports to Japan, with emphasis on high-tech products such as mobile-phone systems and other telecommunication instruments.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paula Lehtomaki told a group of Japanese reporters that her country aims to balance the amount of exports between Japan and Finland.

While Finnish exports to Japan amount to roughly 1 billion euro annually, Japanese exports to Finland reach 1.5 billion euro per year.

Lehtomaki said, “These figures do not show the whole reality because many Finnish companies are selling products to Japan which are produced outside Finland.”

She expects Finnish exports to Japan will rise in the coming years.

The minister may have been referring to Finnish firm Nokia Corp., which sells handsets here that are manufactured in other Asian countries.

Paper, paperboard and wood products account for about half of Finnish exports to Japan, but exports of telecom equipment to Japan have been on the rise since the 1990s, according to the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

For the Finnish log house industry, Japan has been the second most important market after Germany, even though the industry represents only 3 percent of Finland’s total exports to Japan, the chamber said.

Japan has been exporting mainly cars and electronic goods to Finland, it added.

Lehtomaki has been accompanying Finnish President Tarja Haronen.

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