On Thursday, 27 September, Undersecretary for Economic Development at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Viljar Lubi opened the Office of Estonian Honorary Consul in Tampere. Estonia’s Ambassador to Finland Harri Tiido was also present at the formal opening ceremony. Jani Koivuniemi is Estonia’s Honorary Consul in Tampere.
According to Viljar Lubi, the office will help bring Tampere and its surrounding area even closer to Estonia. “Honorary consuls are an extraordinary breed of people who stand out for their energy and inner calling to help a country and its citizens, even though they do not reside in that country themselves. And they do so out of their own free will and spare time. That requires a large amount of empathy and radiance. That is why we are delighted that Jani Koivuniemi is expanding his role as an honorary consul in Finland, a country near and dear to Estonia,” commented Lubi.
Ambassador Tiido added that not only is the new office an important step to provide even more support to the considerable Estonian community in Tampere but helps to promote Estonian-Finnish business relations in the region further.
Jani Koivuniemi is a Finnish businessman who has been Estonia’s Honorary Consul in Tampere since January 2018. The new Office of the Honorary Consul is located on the premises of Jani Koivuniemi’s company Taitokaari OY. Koivuniemi provides consular services to the Pirkanmaa region which is home to over 2,000 Estonians and has an active Estonian community.
The Republic of Estonia has nearly two hundred honorary consuls who all play an important role in representing Estonia’s interests abroad. Honorary consuls are highly regarded and established people in their home countries whose primary task is offering consular services and support to Estonian citizens abroad. Another important part of an honorary consul’s role is promoting economic ties and helping Estonian entrepreneurs create useful connections. An honorary consul does not receive any formal salary from the Estonian state.