Merry Christmas 2018!

The FBCC Team would like to thank you for being part of the Chamber this year and wish you Happy Holidays. Below you can read the Season’s Greetings from our General Manager Emma Jalonen.

Dear Members and Friends of the FBCC,

Another year has flown by, and here we are again, counting down the final days until Christmas. I am sure you are busy with finalizing things at work and getting everything ready for the holiday, or you are already off celebrating with friends and family, so I will keep my message to you short.

The year 2018 has been another quite politically turbulent year here in the UK with all the uncertainty around Brexit and what will happen next year. Whatever your political affiliations may be, there is no denying we are living in changing and uncertain times. One thing that is certain, however, is that Christmas will be here this year again. I hope you take extra care of yourselves and that you will have some time off to spend with loved ones, recharging your batteries for 2019.

This past year we at the FBCC have had busy event seasons and also focused on making some internal business developments to our operations to be able to serve you, our members and friends, even better in the future. I truly hope you have enjoyed our events over the past year and we welcome any feedback you may have for us. For 2019 we have even more fantastic events planned for you so keep your eyes peeled for updates on our website in the New Year.

Finally, I want to give my warmest thanks to our members for your support this year, to our event guests for attending, and all our friends for following our journey. The best part of my job is meeting you and hearing all your stories.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the FBCC team!

Kind regards,

Chairman’s Greetings

Dear Members and Friends of the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce,

2018 has been a very active year for the Chamber with over 23 events for the Members and several in-house modernisation projects. The number of members has continued to grow, particularly in the Junior membership category, which I am very pleased about. The cooperation with the Chamber’s Partners, including the Finnish Embassy, has remained strong and being a member of Team Finland has provided the Chamber with an excellent platform to contribute towards the common Finnish-British good. The Chamber’s financial basis remains solid and with a capable team, headed by General Manager Emma Jalonen, and very active and supportive Board we are well positioned and in good shape to enter 2019.

Having said that, spring 2019 is likely to be a unique time period for our Members and Friends. Brexit is looming or inspiring us, depending on your viewpoint. In any case, the uncertainty over the issue and its future impact is likely to continue. One of FBCC’s tasks is to “occasionally support or oppose legislative and other measures affecting trade between Finland and the UK and generally find ways to support and promote its members”. As a non-political, non-governmental and non-profit organisation we have very seldom had the need to take a strong stance publicly on issues affecting our Members. This may or may not change in 2019, however, if constructive and well considered action to support our Members is required, the Chamber is ready and willing to do just that.

Despite the Brexit uncertainty, many things still remain certain. For instance London is London – Brexit or not. The Capital is and continues to grow as one of the world’s main ICT hubs which offers great opportunities for Finnish companies operating in this sector. The same applies for Finnish Food & Beverage companies which continue to attract the London-based urban population. Also the United Kingdom, with its 60 million plus inhabitants, will undoubtedly remain an important export and import market for Finland. Companies in the Finnish Forestry, Engineering, Financial Services, Transportation sectors and many others in various industries will continue to operate in the UK. When all of this is combined with the knowledge that many commercial relationships between Finnish and British entities have lasted for centuries, I believe that we have all the reasons to think optimistically about the future.

I look forward to seeing you at FBCC’s events.

Juha-Matti Lampola

Team Finland UK’s second newsletter has been published

Team Finland UK’s newsletter 2/2018

Welcome to our second Team Finland newsletter, hope you enjoy it!

Alongside with the daily duties in promoting Finland and helping Finnish companies, Team Finland network has been busy organizing interesting events this autumn, including a seminar on artificial intelligence, corporate wellness event and a visit of Finnish Father Christmas. Team Finland network also warmly welcomes Emilie Gardberg, new Director of the Finnish Institute in London, and Ilkka Räisänen, new Alternate Board Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to London.

New Director of the Finnish Institute in London

Emilie Gardberg has started her four-year term as the director of the Finnish Institute in London. Gardberg has a wide experience in leadership at the cultural sector. She has previously worked as a director of Turku Music Festival and as an intendant of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and spend the autumn 2017 as a scholar in Washington DC, at Wilson Center, which is one of the world’s leading think tanks. She teaches arts management and leadership as a visiting lecturer at several universities.

Read more: Emilie Gardberg is the new director of the Finnish Institute in London

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development offers opportunities for Finnish companies

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe. Today the EBRD supports transition, progress towards market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative. It has its headquarters in London but operates in more than 36 economies across Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to Mongolia. To understand the role of the EBRD and the opportunities it offers for Finnish companies and professionals, Team Finland interviewed Ilkka Räisänen, Alternate Board Director at the EBRD and former Ambassador of Finland in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic.

The bank can provide financing for projects in various fields, and its channels for procurement can provide lucrative contracts. According to Räisänen, EBRD involvement in the projects guarantees that its high standards are applied and one can be assured of uncompromised quality. In countries where the Bank operates, Finnish companies can make use of local expertise in the EBRD Resident Offices to find new project business opportunities. There is especially demand for Finnish products and know-how in projects that call for green solutions.

Read more: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development offers opportunities for Finnish companies

How can Finnish businesses prepare for Brexit?

The Embassy of Finland organised an event in November for Finnish businesses in the UK on how they can prepare for the UK’s departure from the European Union in co-operation with Business Finland and Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce.

Preparing for Brexit is a joint task that has to be performed by the authorities and also by the other stakeholders involved. It requires steps to be taken by EU institutions, national and regional authorities, businesses and citizens. Preparedness measures cannot prevent the changes resulting from the UK’s withdrawal, but they can be used to help mitigate the impact.

Please see the website of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for more information: Preparedness for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

High-level AI Seminar at the Ambassador’s residence in London

The Embassy of Finland in London organized a seminar on the future prospects and challenges of artificial intelligence on 30th October at the residence of Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen. The objective of the event was to shed light to Finnish and British expertise in AI and AI’s impacts on policy, research and business. It also aimed to enhance the co-operation between the two countries and different sectors in the field of AI.

The speakers for the event included experts such as Risto Siilasmaa, Chair of the Board of Directors for Nokia and Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chair of the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and top researchers and business leaders. Among the topics discussed were co-operation between the public and the private sector, role of women in the field of AI, ownership of the data and where Finland and the UK are at the moment and aim to be in the future.

Read more: High-level AI Seminar at the Embassy of Finland in London

Team Finland Day for Finnish businesses in Helsinki

On August 30th, key representatives from Team Finland met with Finnish businesses at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki for Team Finland Day, an event organised once a year by the Team Finland network. The event provided an opportunity for Finnish companies to share experiences and meet Team Finland experts from Business Finland’s global network.

During the day, Team Finland held 30 clinics that provided information from various market areas and explained what kinds of internationalization services are available for Finnish businesses. The clinics provided a great opportunity for Finnish business to hear stories from companies that have successfully entered new international markets. The Finnish businesses also had an opportunity to book one-on-one speed dating sessions with Ambassadors and Business Finland representatives from the Global Network. 12 companies took part in these speed dating sessions.

The United Kingdom was represented by Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen and Perry Le Dain, Senior Advisor at Business Finland UK. The UK clinic provided overviews of Brexit and doing business in the UK. Two Finnish companies HappyOrNot and Mobidiag provided case studies on their UK market entries. The companies interested in the UK market were keen to hear about the routes to the market, what kind of strategic partnerships they should establish and how Business Finland can support their market entry process.

The organizers of the Team Finland Day were Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finnvera, Tesi, Finnpartnership and the Finnish Chambers of Commerce.

For more information regarding Team Finland Day, please contact:

Perry Le Dain, Senior Advisor at Business Finland, perry.ledain(at), Tel. +44 (0)7867 781 237

Sustainable High Performance – Event at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence

Corporate wellness is an important topic both in the UK and in Finland. On 6th November, the Embassy of Finland and Business Finland, together with Hintsa Performance, organized an event at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence on how to maintain sustainable high performance. At the event, Mika Häkkinen, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, shared lessons learned during his career including the importance of balanced life and team work. ”Change takes time. In the end, it’s the marginal gains that make the big difference”, Häkkinen explained.

Leading individuals and organisations from both countries and from large variety of business sectors attended the event. Alongside with discussing the importance of wellbeing, the focus was on high tech innovations and performance improvement solutions from the fields of exercise, wellness, and related management solutions.

Team Finland network encourages everyone to think about one of the key learnings of the event: optimise, don’t maximise.

Finnish Father Christmas visiting the UK

The first week of December was filled with Christmas spirit when Father Christmas came all the way from Finnish Lapland to visit London and Brighton. In London he visited Monocle Christmas Market and brought joy and presents to two children’s hospitals. In Brighton, in collaboration with Brighton Fringe and Mayor of Brighton Dee Simson, Father Christmas and Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen visited a children’s hospital and met with school children on Brighton Pier.

Father Christmas’ visit to Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton was also also captured by ITV Meridian:

Merry Christmas!

Final greetings from Mirjam

Christmas is approaching, which is a sign of changes in the FBCC team – it’s my time to leave London behind and take on new challenges! Before I leave, I would like to look back and share some of my experiences while working in the FBCC.

I can’t believe it has just been four and a half months since I started working at the FBCC! This Fall has been full of insightful events, inspiring people and new things to learn. Despite the busy season, I’ve gained so many new experiences and learned about life in London.

One of the most interesting factors of the season has been the infamous and complex Brexit process, which continues to spark emotions in most people I have met. It has been surprising and inspiring to see the optimism many companies and business people have in the future. For example, it was interesting to attend an event exploring opportunities in the Commonwealth after Brexit, organised by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe. Another exciting event I will remember was a seminar discussing Artificial Intelligence the at the Residence of the Ambassador of Finland. Listening to the insights of high-level experts such as Risto Siilasmaa and Pekka Ala-Pietilä was definitely a unique experience I value.

I couldn’t be more thankful for all the opportunities this placement has offered me and I’m sure I’ve learned more than I even realize. Most importantly, having the possibility to meet and work together with various people from a variety of backgrounds has helped me to deepen my understanding of the international business environment in London.

I’d like to thank all the wonderful people I’ve had the chance to meet, not to forget the FBCC team for always providing me support and giving me the opportunity to develop my skills as a young professional. It’s absolutely an experience I will cherish.

For now I’m going back home to finish my Bachelor’s studies and take on new exciting challenges in the future. Hopefully I will see you again soon in London!

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.