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.