Finland supported sub-Saharan liberation movements and recognised the Republic of Zambia soon after its declaration of independence on 24 October 1964. Diplomatic relations were established in 1968, and the Embassy of Finland in Lusaka was opened on 1 November 1972.
Development cooperation has traditionally played a major role in the relations between Finland and Zambia. Currently, Zambia is one of the Finland's long-term partner countries in development cooperation.
Finland's support focuses on areas that promote Zambia's own development goals and aspiration to transform the counrtry from an aid recipient to a diverse economy. Cooperation is centered on two impact areas, one focusing on supporting economic development through improving the private sector and the other on poverty reduction through targeting the most vulnerable in the society.
Finland aims to diversify the relations between the countries, and trade relations have become increasingly prominent. The investment protection agreement between the countries entered into force in March 2014.
Finnish Ambassadors in Zambia:
Henrik Blomstedt 1968 (based in Addis Abeba)
Joel Pekuri 1968 (Addis Abeba)
Seppo Pietinen 1972 (Dar es Salaam)
Martti Ahtisaari 1973–1976 (Dar es Salaam)
Unto Korhonen 1976–1980
Erik Hellqvist 1980–1983
Garth Castren 1984–1987
Risto Rekola 1987–1989
Ilari Rantakari 1989–1993
Sinikka Antila 2007 – 2011
Pertti Anttinen 2011–2014
Timo Olkkonen 2014-