Mari Kiviniemi, M.Soc.Sc (49) has been appointed Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation effective from 1 January 2019. Kiviniemi is currently a Deputy Secretary General at the OECD. Her previous positions include Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for Public Administration and Local Government and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. She also served as a Member of Parliament for a long time.

“As an economist and experienced politician, Mari Kiviniemi possesses strong and analytical insight into the development of commerce and society. The Finnish commerce sector is facing international competition. With her diverse career experience, Mari Kiviniemi will bring very significant national and international expertise into this scenario. Under Mari Kiviniemi’s leadership, the Finnish Commerce Federation will also be in an excellent position to participate in the development of Finnish society,” says Mikko Helander, Chairman of the Finnish Commerce Federation and President and CEO of Kesko Corporation and K Group.

Commerce is the largest taxpayer in the Finnish business sector. It generates nine per cent of Finland’s GDP and its overall impact on the economy is twice as large as that. As an individual sector, commerce is the largest provider of jobs in Finland. Commerce directly employs nearly 300,000 people and its overall employment impact is approximately 450,000 people. Commerce also plays a significant role at the European level: it generates 11 per cent of Europe’s GDP and employs more than 33 million Europeans.[1]

“Commerce plays a very significant role in Finland and Europe as a whole as we seek innovative solutions to the challenges facing our economy and society. For example, the commerce sector is a key factor in our ability to achieve employment targets and the renewal of the service network. I am excited to take on this new role to build not only the future of the commerce sector, but also the future of Finland in a broader sense. As a small and open economy, it is vital for Finland to be competitive. The rules of the free market economy that create well-being are written both in Finland and at the EU level. It is important for the Finnish commerce sector to make its voice heard at both levels,” Mari Kiviniemi says.

Juhani Pekkala, the current Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation, will retire at the end of 2018 in accordance with his contract. Mari Kiviniemi will join the Finnish Commerce Federation as Deputy Managing Director on 1 December 2018.

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More information:

Mikko Helander, Chairman, Finnish Commerce Federation
Interview requests: Karoliina Partanen, Senior Vice President, Communications and Identity, Kesko Corporation, tel. +358 10 5320 744

Mari Kiviniemi, future Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +336 4627 7860

*Source: EuroCommerce (https://www.eurocommerce.eu/retail-and-wholesale-in-europe.aspx)