Tour de Sky kaupungin vastaanoton puhe
Tour de Sky, City Reception
Friday 17 June 2016, 7.30pm
Chair of the City Council, MP Markku Rossi
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Welcome to Kuopio and to the Banquet Room of Kuopio's beautiful City Hall. This hall was built between 1883 and 1885, when Kuopio had about 8,000 inhabitants. Now our population has risen to more than 112,000 and in recent years about one thousand people annually have chosen Kuopio as their new home.
The construction costs of the City Hall were about twice the then annual budget of the town. We are still bold and resourceful in Kuopio, but nevertheless,
in today's terms, a single investment of more than 1.5 billion euros might not be undertaken. Our City Hall has been chosen as one of the three most beautiful municipal halls in Finland.
In the lobby stand three statues: one depicts Kuopio's founder, the Swedish king Gustav III; the second portrays Johan Henrik Tawast,
a Kuopio-born count, diplomat and General in the Swedish Army; and the third is of Marshal Mannerheim, an officer in the Russian Imperial Army, later the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army and finally President of Finland.
As these great men indicate, our city's history is very international. Currently, 2.4 % of Kuopio's population have come from elsewhere and they represent some 100 different nationalities. Kuopio's sister city network extends from Minneapolis in the United States to Jönköping in Sweden,
and from Besançon in France via Castrop-Rauxel and Gera in Germany to Craiova in Romania. Many events bring international visitors to our city. The best known is undoubtedly the Kuopio Dance Festival, which is currently in progress and has put Kuopio on the dance map throughout the world.
Kuopio is presently taking new steps in its internationalisation, with work underway on setting up a Kuopio Convention Bureau. This will facilitate the organisation of conferences in Kuopio. Our aim is to support the city's internationalisation goals, help the region's businesses with their internationalisation needs and strengthen the links between the Kuopio science community and the international science world. So, hopefully we will meet here in Kuopio in the future, too, in the context of rewarding and interesting conferences and seminars.
Since so many safety and security industry professionals are gathered together, I would like to say a few words about the concentration of safety and security expertise in Kuopio.
In the early 2000s, the City decided to make the promotion of health technology and health research our top development priority. That has been joined by the development of a centre of expertise in high-quality research and technology in the field of safety and security.
In Kuopio, it comprises the Emergency Services College and associated Crisis Management Centre Finland, which is an international training organisation, and the expertise of the University of Eastern Finland. The Savonia University of Applied Sciences has national training responsibilities in the fields of fire and rescue services, healthcare and arts and culture. Of course, one cannot speak of this local concentration of safety and security expertise without mentioning the Karelia Air Command based at Rissala.
An extremely interesting field, doing business in crisis areas, is also being developed in Kuopio. Kuopio Innovation, a business development organisation, is in charge of the national Human Security Finland network that helps companies enter markets in crisis areas and deal with the authorities. One marketing target is the UN and development banks. Currently, the biggest business project involves participation in the construction of a new town on the Zambia-Congo border.
Let's enjoy a pleasant evening in each other's company and rewarding conversations. Once again, welcome to Kuopio and this City Reception!