The Finnish Foreign Service upholds a long tradition of honorary consular services. The network of honorary consulates started immediately after Finland had become independent.
At present, honorary consuls monitor the rights of Finnish citizens in their sphere of operation and, for their part, promote the economic and cultural relations between Finland and their country. Honorary consuls thus play a part in the promotion of export and internationalisation of Finnish companies (EPI). Honorary consuls' activities are supervised by the local Finnish Embassy or the consulate general responsible for the region.
In compliance with international practice, Finland has four different honorary consular titles: honorary consul general, honorary consul, honorary vice consul and honorary consular agent. Honorary consuls are not necessarily Finnish citizens. They are persons of a prestigious social position discharging their honorary consular duties as a part-time occupation without remuneration.