Greetings from Finland Chamber of Commerce

Author: FredericA RiviereA

NEW NORMAL BUT BUSINESS CONTINUES

The world economy is facing major challenges due to Covid-19. First China, then Europe and finally the rest of the world is suffering from the new pandemic. Our common experience shows importance of international co-operation. And international trade will be key tools in our quick recovery from economic shock by Covid-19.

After Covid-19 crisis companies are reconsidering their business models and supply chains. This may also have impacts on Sino-Finnish business as well. Today with more than 11 billion euros investment, Finland is the biggest EU country investor in China in proportion to the size of the country's economy. Over 400 Finnish companies work and employ over 60,000 people in China. For companies like Finnair, Nokia, Kone, StoraEnso, UPM and Wärtsilä but also for many SMEs China is the key market.

Similarly, Finland has become China's fifth most important investment destination in Europe just after UK, Germany, France and Italy. Since 2000, China has invested about 7 billion euros in Finland and new investments of 2 billion euros are under construction. Companies like Supercell, Okmetic, JOT Automations are examples of just investment.

Even though most of Finnish exports are still directed to Europe, the importance of China to Finland is more important, which shows in the Finnish Research Institute ETLA's recent study of Finland's global value chains. If we put together all end and intermediary products, services and investments, there are good reasons to conclude that China is Finland's first business partner in the world. Therefore, we Finns are worried about growing protectionism and increasing economic nationalism on international markets. We believe that open trade and fair competition based on predicted international trade rules is the best way to strengthen prosperity in various countries including China and Finland.

Citizens of China have also founded Finland as an attractive tourist place to visit. In 2019 about 15 % more Chinese visited Finland than a year earlier. The number of Chinese tourists is growing fast. Among all foreign tourists to Finland the Chinese visitors spend most money over 910 euros per visit.

Innovative Finland is an excellent partner for China to seek solutions to challenges related to urbanization, energy and resource efficiency, emissions cutting and healthcare of aging populations. When bilateral trade is booming, the importance of the Finnish Business Councils in China is increasing. It is important to have a business-driven body like FBC in Shanghai in which companies can share knowledge, experience and take action to strengthen Chinese- Finnish business relations. Today FBCS is one of 37 accredited key partners of global FinnCham Network coordinated by Finland Chamber of Commerce. We are looking forward to strengthen our partnership with FBCS. 

Timo Vuori
Executive Vice President, Finland Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, ICC Finland

The Finland Chamber of Commerce is the leading private. multi-sectoral business organization in Finland. One of our mission is to promote international trade and business relations. Therefore, our Finncham Network is supporting the activities of Finnish Business Councils and Chambers abroad. Furthermore, we are hosting 15 bilateral Chambers in Finland including Finnish-Chinese Trade Association. www.finncham.fi