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Finland organises high-level Silver Economy Forum next summer

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 14.11.2018 9.49 | Published in English on 15.11.2018 at 8.51
Press release 166/2018

Finland will organise a high-level Silver Economy Forum in Helsinki on 9–10 July 2019 as part of the official programme of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Finland considers it important that arrangements for managing the social and economic changes brought by the ageing population are also made at EU level to maintain the global competitiveness of the EU. Furthermore, Finland strives to strengthen the position of the EU in the global ageing policy. The Forum will bring together actors from the public sector, non-governmental organisations and business life. Through this completely new initiative, Finland wishes to distinguish itself as a pioneer in reforming the ways in which the EU works.

"One of the objectives is that ageing people will have a sufficient functional capacity to manage their own lives and continue to be active members of society and the economy. Other objectives include economically sustainable changes in the population age structure, a well-functioning financial market, and markets that promote business and development activities," says Permanent Secretary Päivi Sillanaukee.

The event is intended for international political decision-makers and public officials, representatives of international organisations, experts and researchers, and significant business operators in Europe, Asia and North America. This will be the first global high-level policy and economy forum on ageing with special focus on digitalisation and deployment of new technologies.

The estimated value of the Silver Economy goes up to USD 15 trillion. Solutions in the fields of financial services, health and social services, pharmaceutical market, home care, technology – including health technology – and transport and housing must be developed to meet the needs of the changing population age structure.

"As Finland is the third fastest ageing country in the world, we are very well aware of the changes in the population age structure that have taken place in the 2000s. Maintaining the functional capacity of people plays a key role both for the competitiveness and for the wellbeing of people. Therefore, we decided to link the Silver Economy Forum with Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU," says Esko Aho, founding member of the Silver Economy Forum.

Another purpose of the event is to produce material for the conclusions to be prepared during Finland's Presidency, so it also has a close connection to the agenda of the Council of Ministers. Finland also wishes that the event would influence the Work Programme of the next Commission.  Ageing as part of the reciprocity between wellbeing and the economy is an intersectoral issue that must be highlighted at EU level, and strengthening the EU's global competitiveness is a particularly important concern in this connection.

Inquiries

Sarita Friman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 349, sarita.friman@stm.fi