Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Russian Exchange Important

In recent years, Russia has recovered from the turbulent and often chaotic times of the 90s to become one of Finland’s top trading partners. Goods flow to and from our eastern neighbour in great volume creating jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border. So, a group from TAMK attended Russian Day at the Tikkurila campus of LAUREA University of Applied Science.

Professor Markku Kivinen, Director of the Aleksander Institute of the University of Helsinki spoke about what direction Russia is heading now. He pointed out that the Soviet Union is over and that the new Russia has cash reserves of 225 billion euros. The country, as a whole, is up and coming on the world stage.

He pointed out that European Union membership is not in the cards for our Eastern neighbour. Even though trade between Russia and the EU is enormous, niether side really wants EU membership for Russia. One interesting point was that almost all of Russia’s trade is with EU member states. He also pointed out that although Russia is important, it is also difficult to understand and predict.

In addition to other excellent presentations, Jaana Mutanen and Outi Jäppinen from the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO) spoke about various exchange and work placement opportunities. Student perspectives were provide by Marja Heiskanen Laurea, Marjo Hämäläinen SEAMK, Jesse Niklander Laurea, Riina Vahertimo TOKEM and Hanna Vaurio SAMK, FIRST Network for Social Services and Health.

Mikel Garant from TAMK spoke on Russian exchange students in Finland. Katri Velin from KYAMK spoke about long term students exchanges to Russia and Ritva Salonen from HAMK spoke about teacher exchanges.

The day was well spent and educational and will help all of us gain a better understanding of contemporary Russia. TAMK will participate in an week long program on doing business with Russia at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, March 28 - April 5, 2009. For more information contact mikel.garant (at)

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