Greetings From Business Finland
Dear FBCS members,
It’s with a great pleasure we greet you all FBCS members with these few words and thoughts.
Finnish companies’ interest and concrete actions in starting and expanding their businesses in China has continued strong. And growth does not limit itself to the exports but also travel and tourism and direct investments from China to Finland have continued to grow.
Finland and China have historically strong relationship, not only in trade but also in culture, education, research and sports, just to name a few areas. Year 2020 will mark this well when we celebrate 70 years diplomatic relationship between Finland and China. Finland was one of the first Western countries to recognize the China and form diplomatic relations with the country in 1950. Today China is Finland’s most important trade partner in Asia and the fourth largest trade partner globally.
This year 2019 started in the same close collaboration’s tune in January when President of Finland Sauli Niinistö paid a state visit to China for the official launch of the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports 2019. The joint winter sports partnership theme year marks the first of this kind of bilateral cooperation in sports between China and another country.
From last year’s many great achievements we would like to highlight CIIE – China International Import Expo. CIIE 2018 witnessed more than 400,000 buyers who had the chance to meet with and negotiate with more than 3,600 businesses from 172 countries. Team Finland Country Pavilion was a success in all aspects - by numbers of visitors, by visual attractiveness and how well it functioned as a VVIP meeting platform for Finnish companies to meet their Chinese partners. In the CIIE 2018 pavilion beauty contest Finland’s Country Pavilion won the Silver Medal right next to China’s Country Pavilion.
In more general terms bilateral relationships between China and Finland have continued strong and we witnessed a record year of Finnish state and business delegations visiting China, and also vice versa. And though China-US trade dispute do of course cast a shadow also on our perceptions on economic growth, we have learned that China’s market size and amount of opportunities do continuously offer possibilities for a small country like Finland even in harsher times.
This year is also a year of big changes in Business Finland’s personnel in China as some of our Business Finland and Team Finland core people’s tenures end. I want to deeply thank Mr. Jaani Heinonen, Commercial Consul and Head of BF Shanghai Office for his long-term dedication and great work for Finland in China and Mr. Arto Mustikkaniemi, Science, Technology & Innovation Councellor in Beijing, who also ends his tenure with Business Finland this year. I also want to give my great thanks for great collaboration to Mr. Jan Wahlberg, Consul General in Shanghai. I wish you all great success and hope to have an opportunity to continue the deep and fruitful collaboration with you.
We will also have new and old-new persons joining us this year, and firstly I would like to warmly welcome Ms. Eija Tynkkynen back to China to join us as Business Finland’s China Country Manager. With great enthusiasm, I would also like to welcome Mr. Pasi Hellman, new Consul General in Shanghai and Ms. Hannakaisa Andersson, Team Finland China Coordinator in Beijing to join our very active Team Finland group.
This year marks also some changes in the BF HQ, as the captain of the whole Business Finland changes when our new CEO Ms. Nina Kopola steps in and our current CEO Mr. Pekka Soini steps down when his tenure ends in August.
We’re heading to the second half of 2019 with great expectations. Autumn will be busy with WWSE - World Winter Sports Expo in Beijing and CIIE 2019 in Shanghai. And then there’s also China-Finland Winter Sports Theme Year Closing Event in Finland and there’s many other bigger and smaller Export, Visit Finland, Invest in Finland and Team Finland promotions, events and delegations taking place throughout the year. All these are for the business, so be active and join!
Wishing you all a wonderful summer, great success and many closed deals!
Business Finland at Your Service!
Head of Region
Business Finland East Asia, Beijing
China Country Manager
Business Finland China, Beijing