Dear Members and Friends of the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce,
2020 has certainly been a year of exceptional circumstances for the Chamber and its Members. Covid-19 has forced us to rethink, and in many cases change our ways of work and life. The original business plan for 2020 hasn’t been opened since March, interaction with colleagues and clients takes now place on the computer screen, and working from home has become the new norm. Everyone has had to adapt very quickly, including the Chamber.
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, the Chamber has remained very active in assisting and supporting its members. Understandably there have been very few live events, but all the more so webinars. These webinars have covered topical subjects such as Brexit, Cyber Security, and the Furlough Scheme to name a few. The Chamber has also paid special attention to providing webinars covering various aspects of Wellbeing, Remote Teamwork, and Leadership. Overall, the participation in these seminars has been very active and within the FBCC social media channels, the following has seen a significant increase. The Chamber’s network today extends to more than 1300 business contacts with a very stable membership base.
The cooperation with the Chamber’s Partners, including the Finnish Embassy, has remained strong. As a member of Team Finland, the Chamber has been provided with an excellent platform to contribute towards the common Finnish-British good. In addition, the cooperation with the other Nordic Chambers of Commerce has worked very well and is likely to increase in the future. The Chamber’s financial basis remains solid and working with a capable team headed by General Manager Jade Juvonen, supported by an active Board, we are in good shape to enter 2021.
The year 2020 has been challenging and many of us have had to make difficult decisions. Despite these realities/challenges, there is still some room for cautious optimism. The United Kingdom, particularly the London – Cambridge axel, continues to be one of the world’s fastest growing ICT, Science & Research hubs which offer great opportunities for Finnish companies operating in this sector. Finland is also well known for its skills and expertise in areas including Green Energy, Wellbeing, Sustainability, Digitalisation, and Education which all are included in one way or another in the UK Government’s sizeable Covid-recovery funding plans. At the time of writing, we still don’t know the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations, however, and perhaps most importantly, the UK has just started its Covid-19 vaccinations program which is the eagerly awaited change for the better.
I trust this period of various restrictions and quarantines has made us all realise how important meeting other people actually is. FBCC’s slogan “Intelligent Networking” refers not only to the information and facts the Chamber provides but also to its very important continuous role as a social interaction platform for its Members and Friends.
I look forward to seeing you at FBCC’s events.