Finnish president to visit West Africa

Tarja HalonenHelsinki - Finnish President Tarja Halonen was next month to visit four countries in West Africa, the president's office said Friday.

The March 3-12 tour opens in Senegal and includes meetings with President Abdoulaye Wade, followed by Liberia and talks with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

In Liberia, the two female heads of state were also due to participate in a seminar on women's leadership.

Visits to Nigeria and Benin and meetings with Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua and Benin's President Yayi Bon cap the trip.

Nokia secures loan from European Investment Bank for research

Nokia launches new handsetsHelsinki - Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, said Thursday it had secured a 500 million-euro (629 million- dollar) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The five-year loan was to be used to co-finance software research and development (R&D) projects, mainly for Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones, Nokia said.

Symbian is an open-source operating system used for mobile devices, and is supported by among others Nokia.

Nokia to concentrate research and development sites

Nokia to concentrate research and development sites Helsinki  - Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, Wednesday said it planned to concentrate its mobile research and development to fewer sites in Finland and introduce temporary layoffs to counter lower demand.

The site for mobile research and development in the city of Jyvaskyla, was to be closed by the end of 2009, impacting some 320 employees, the group said.

Research and development sites were to remain in Tampere, Oulu, Salo and the greater Helsinki area.

Court issues fines for kiss-and-tell book on Finnish premier

finland flag & mapHelsinki - A Finnish appeals court Tuesday convicted the author and publisher of a kiss-and-tell book on Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, saying it violated his privacy.

Vanhanen had appealed a lower court ruling that in March 2008 cleared the book based on material provided by a woman, Susan Ruusunen, whom he had once dated.

Author Susan Ruusunen was sentenced to pay a fine of 300 euros (389 dollars) while publisher Kari Ojala was ordered to pay 840 euros (1,089 dollars), Finnish news agency STT reported.

India, Finland agree to explore new areas of trade cooperation

Kamal NathNew Delhi, Feb 6 : Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath and Finland Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Dr. Paavo Vayrynen today agreed to encourage businesses to explore new areas and sectors to widen and deepen the trade basket between the two nation.

Both sides felt that mutual trade and investment between Finland and India is growing and there is lot of potential for developing these economic relations further.

Energy group Fortum applies to build Finnish reactor

Fortum Helsinki - Finnish energy group Fortum on Thursday filed an application to build a new nuclear reactor power plant in Finland, the company and government said.

The planned location was near the city of Loviisa, some 90 kilometres east of Helsinki, where the group operates two of Finland's four nuclear power plants.

Five different plant alternatives were being considered, the group said, adding the design was to allow both heat and power production.

Advantages with the location near Loviisa included that construction would not change land ownership or protective zones, Fortum said.