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Vanhanen Begins US Visit

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen started a visit to the United States on Sunday. Vanhanen will have official discussions with the U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in Washington D.C. Other meetings include one with Microsoft's Bill Gates. Talks with the Vice President on Tuesday are expected to focus on energy and climate issues, innovation policy and key international and bilateral issues. Vanhanen will also have a meeting with chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Congressman Edward Markey. While in Washington, the Prime Minister's schedule includes a speech on energy and climate issues at the National Press Club. Vanhanen will travel on to San Francisco and Seattle. In Silicon Valley, he will visit Cisco Systems, Google and FinNode, a Finnish innovation centre located in Santa Clara. It was founded in January 2007 by FinPro, Sitra (the Finnish Innovation Fund), the Academy of Finland, Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. On Thursday in Seattle, Vanhanen will visit the Microsoft Corporation and meet chairman Bill Gates. The Prime Minister's programme also includes a company presentation by the aircraft manufacturer Boeing and a visit to the University of Washington. Vanhanen returns to Finland on Friday. YLE, Prime Minister's Office

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