Greetings from FBCS Chairman

Author: FredericA RiviereA

The Finnish BUSINESS COUNCIL in Shanghai starts to prepare for a big event in its history, the 25th anniversary year. 24 years ago, when this organisation was brought into being the world looked quite different. The stories of Shanghai in the 90s are fascinating to listen and luckily we still get to connect with the pioneers of the Sino-Finnish business.

They tell us about the population on bicycles, which now are back again, as an excellent example of the new sharing economy. They tell us about the crossing of Huangpu river which took a significant time before the metro line 2 crossed it under ground. But more importantly these people also tell us about their experiences of how to do business in China. And this is what the Finnish Business Council in Shanghai is all about. This was the founding thought of those few company members back in 1994, to share experiences and learn from them. After 24 years, we are still here, stronger than ever, to strengthen the people-to-people links in this fast moving and digital world.

The first ten years of activity were more or less meetings without any significant structure for the organisation. But in mid 2000 the council took big steps into being a professionally managed organization. At the moment of writing we have 121 corporate members which makes us the biggest Finnish business community outside Finland. We have taken strong action to make our council activities much more accessible for the Chinese people working in the Finnish companies and also have the biggest number of Chinese board members in the FBCS history. This has been our recipe for the growth in the number of members we have witnessed the last years.

The Chinese market is still growing and changing fast, therefore offering unexploited opportunities for the takers. The Chinese demand for quality services and consumption are increasing further. But the real work - converting all this raw potential into great businesses, jobs and connections lies within the Finnish companies and business communities like FBCS. As a natural connector between the Finnish companies, FBCS is determined to play an ever-growing part of making business better for you, our member. I thank you all for investing in this important work for our common benefit and wish you a great business year!