Greetings From Business Finland

Author: FredericA RiviereA

Dear FBCS members

It's with a great pleasure to have this opportunity to greet you as the new Head of East Asia Region. With great enthusiasm, I continue the excellent work that Mr. Jaani Heinonen has done in building and developing Business Finlands services and country teams in the East Asia Region to help Finnish companies to start and grow their businesses successfully in China, Japan and Korea.

Finnish companies interest in building and expanding their businesses to China and in China has continued strong. Though economist predicted that China's economic growth will slow down a notch or two in 2018-2019, the growth has continued and because of the markets sheer size and the number of opportunities it offers, China continues to be on top of list of growth markets to Finnish companies. Of course, the risk of the potential trade war and general growth in protectionism from significant trading partners need to be acknowledged as if realized they will impose severe threat to growth in China.

China's economic growth driver is 300-400 million peoples middle class that wants a better life, new products, services and experiences. While Chinas disposable income is still low compared to Western countries, growth potential remains high. Along with consumers increased consumption, among Chinas other growth engines are renewal and upgrade of Chinas industrial production through innovation and technology, new sustainable urbanization and the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Cooperation between China and Finland is continuously deepening in a wide range of areas, such as circular economy, efficiency in resource utilization, sustainable development and environmental protection, construction of green, smart cities and sustainable urbanization, agriculture, forestry, transport and logistics, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence and innovation collaboration.

One timely opportunity that needs to be mentioned, is Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. As China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the two countries have agreed to cooperate more in winter sports and in preparations for the Winter Olympics. One outcome of this will be the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports in 2019, that gives Finland and Finnish companies a unique opportunity to promote our winter sports knowhow and snowhow, our expertise and our great products and services. Winter Sports is one of the priorities of the Team Finland China Network for 2018-2019, operated in a close cooperation with the Finnish companies.

Business Finland has officially started on 1st of June 2018 after 6 months merger period that joined Finpro and Tekes to a one organisation. All pieces in the new organisations are now in place, all positions are filled, teams are formed and systems are in place to help and serve Finnish companies even better all the way from startup phase to successful growth in international markets. In Shanghai, Business Finland will continue its strong presence as it is today in close Team Finland collaboration with all of you.

I look very much forward to working with you and wish great success to your businesses in China!