FBC Kick Started 2019 with Robin Mills’ Cutting Edge Energy Analysis

We and our economy are driven by energy and politics – they are intertwined in more ways than we can fathom. With shifting markets and new competitors not forgetting unpredictable political leaders, what is the outlook in our business environment? We had a pleasure to pick the brains of a true expert in the topic. Robin is an industry expert, author in energy & politics and columnist at the National.

 In his presentation Robin demonstrated that the future outlook for Middle East oil & gas exporters remains positive, but with shifting markets and new competitors it is vital to understand how will our playground develop short and long term.  Climate change puts growing pressure on oil & gas exports. Middle East countries and companies are adapting at varying paces and ways to future lower oil demand and prices. He forecasted how will electric vehicle markets develop here and elsewhere and how will renewables and gas change the global energy markets.  We learned how and why downstream in oil and gas will become as prominent as upstream. The geopolitical rivalry over oil and gas forms a complex geographic matrix with sometimes quickly developing global and regional incidents. Robin Mills’ brilliant analysis and insight makes the pieces click. Looking forward to hearing more. Be sure NOT to miss the next occasion!

Thank you Robin!





Robin Mills with Katja Boutou, Chairman and Jaana Räsänen-Pentti, Honorary Chairman (hosting Mills already for 3rd time for FBC!)

Robin Mills with Katja Boutou, Chairman and Jaana Räsänen-Pentti, Honorary Chairman (hosting Mills already for 3rd time for FBC!)

Oulu Region Business Delegation Visits Sharjah

Businesses, education and research institutions from the Oulu Region and the City of Oulu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Emirate of Sharjah from the United Arab Emirates on 15 January 2019. The MOU concerns the establishment of a Finnish innovation cluster in Sharjah.

 The MOU was signed by the Department of Educational and Cultural Services of the City of Oulu, BusinessOulu, OSAO Edu Oy, the Faculty of Technology and the Faculty of Education of the University of Oulu, Collaprime Oy, Flexbright Oy, Solved Oy and Ponkala Architects Oy.

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a business seminar for the delegation. The seminar focused on investment opportunities in the construction, cleantech, healthcare and education industries. The circular economy and the principles of sustainable development were also prominent topics of discussion. The highlighted industries are spearheads of the smart specialisation strategy of the Regional Programme of the Oulu Region.

 The visit was organised by the Council of Oulu Region in response to an invitation by Sheikh Fahim Sultan Al Qasimi of Sharjah. The visit resulted in eight MOUs with the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park. The R&D&I park was represented in the signing event by CEO Hussain Al Mahmoudi. Hussain Al Mahmoudi underlined that the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park is in a stage of significant development. The newest premises in the R&D&I park were completed two weeks ago.

 The Council of Oulu Region signed a cooperation agreement in January 2017 with AUS Enterprises, a development company of the American University of Sharjah, and has been coordinating the cooperation for two years. Collaboration between public administration, education and business has been put into practice in a variety of ways. One area of collaboration has been educational service export projects in the region.

 Further information:


 Development Director Tiina Rajala, p. +358406854033,tiina.rajala@pohjois.pohjanmaa.fi

 Manager of International Affairs Hanna Honkamäkilä, p. +358406854040,hanna.honkamakila@pohjois-pohjanmaa.fi



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Peikko: Save on costs and ensure safety - also with seismic loads

Construction requirements are nowadays more and more demanding, especially when it comes to seismic design. In fact, buildings in earthquake-prone areas must withstand seismic loads in order to guarantee the safety of the occupants.

 This implies specific structural detailing as required by the Codes, which may result in overdesigned and densely reinforced structures. On the other hand, the major aim of construction industry is to limit money spent on both material usage and time at building site.

Peikko provides a solution that reduces costs but does not compromise on safety

Peikko has recently launched a new concept on the market; a seismic-proof column connection that complies with current seismic design requirements while maintaining the advantages of precast technology, such as better material and product quality control and improved erection speed. How is this possible?

Peikko’s column connection for seismic applications has been developed to emulate the performance of monolithic joints in terms of stiffness, ductility, and energy dissipation capacity, which are the key properties for structural elements subjected to horizontal cyclic loading. The new HPM®-EQ Anchor Bolts significantly contribute to the deformation capacity of the connection, which can now be designed to match the column resistance.

So far, the common way to deal with seismic loads has been to overdesign precast connections so that they have much more capacity than the column they support. This makes no sense economically. Contrary to that, the HPKM®/HPM®-EQ energy dissipating connection can lead to smaller column cross-sections than the overdesigned ones, thereby resulting in concrete volume savings of up to 20%. A further 50% can be saved in costs thanks to reduced excavation depth for foundations and self-supporting connection.

Savings at the construction site are often crucial

By using Peikko’s connection system, the foundation height is limited thanks to anchor bolts with headed studs. This is particularly beneficial compared to the traditional protruding bar system. Lighter foundations mean limited excavation works and reduced concrete and reinforcing steel consumption, which can be crucial. Installation templates and accessories ease the installation process and secure the correct positioning of the anchor bolt group. Furthermore, column erection is also fast and safe, and with no need for temporary bracing.

Peikko’s Column Connection for seismic applications guarantees both the overall efficiency on site and the structural safety. In fact, the performance of the connection has been assessed by a series of experimental tests. A clear design guideline and a standard installation procedure make the system reliable and easy to use. Whatever your case is, Peikko also offers the latest expert know-how for seismic design of precast frame connections to support our customers.

So, do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to save on costs but not on safety!


Dubai Expo 2020 and Finland

Severi Keinälä, Dubai EXPO2020 Commissioner at Business Finland and myself Jaana Räsänen-Pentti, Honorary Chairman of FBC, met in Helsinki shortly after the official announcement of Finland's participation in Dubai EXPO. FBC has endorsed Finland’s participation over many years through numerous events and seminars organized by FBC. EXPO is not only a circus passing through town during 6 months, but it also offers a foresight for companies to create a stronghold in the region over a time period spanning far beyond the EXPO itself. For these reasons now is the time to think about how FBC with its feet steadily on the ground and Finland’s EXPO mission can work tightly together to further make it a worthwhile investment.

The ways and categories to officially contribute are many from National Partners, Key Partners to Event Partners, but there are also other means of collaboration. During our networking event at Address Montgomerie on November 11th, the eve of the official signing ceremony, we had the chance to listen to Riitta Swan, Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Severi Keinälä, Finland at Dubai EXPO2020 Commissioner General, and EVP Max Alfthan from Kone Corporation who shared their insight why and how this will be a landmark deal for the Finnish brand in the region and beyond. Bond Agency, our resident brand evangelist, gave us a pep talk on how to create a brand that lasts. All in all an interesting and successful evening!

Jaana Räsänen-Pentti

Honorary Chairman

Innovative business solutions will be promoted in Finland’s “Snow Cape” Pavilion during Dubai Expo2020.

Innovative business solutions will be promoted in Finland’s “Snow Cape” Pavilion during Dubai Expo2020.

FBC Christmas Party

The FBC Christmas Party at the Els Club on the 7th of December was once again a success and well attended. The Supernova band made sure everyone was well entertained and the beautiful setting and food at the Els Club had us all get in to Christmas spirit. The Christmas Party would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors: Cadmatic, Broadfolio, Metso, Rotana, Fly Dubai, African&Eastern and the Els Club. A very big THANK YOU!


FBC Golf Championships - 8th Edition

On the 7th of December happy golfers consisting of FBC members and friends gathered at the Els club in Dubai to compete for the title of FBC golf champion of 2018. The lucky winner in the stroke play category was Jari Ruuska with a score of 78 strokes. In the stableford category Tero Kilpelä had the best result with 40 points.

Anne Sahlström won the longest drive for women and Jari Puurtinen won both longest drive in the men’s category, as well as closest to pin. The team competition was won by Jari Puurtinen, Arno Pelkonen, Pentti Korjonen and Tero Kilpelä.

In addition, to honor Finland’s centenary, last year we created a new category symbolized in a blue and white lion head-cover that was passed on to the next deserving golfer, who demonstrated relentless, un-waivered go get –spirit and sisu despite many obstacles on the way, as did Finland a hundred years ago. Peter Söderman and Tuula Fellman are proud winners of the Sisu – Suomi 100 -trophy.  The prize ceremony was held at the FBC Christmas party which took place following the golf tournament at the Els club. Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to the ELS club for supporting the event and prizes such as golf and f&b vouchers.

Dressed in blue and white the competitors ready to hit the greens!

Dressed in blue and white the competitors ready to hit the greens!

Season kick of with the first Nordic Sundowner

On Wednesday 26th of September, more than 80 members from the Nordic Business community gathered at Molecule restaurant in 3D for the season's first Nordic Sundowner.

The evening started by HE Riitta Swan, Ambassador of Finland to UAE, by announcing the Finland's participation to EXPO 2020, Dubai. This is great news for all the companies already operating here in UAE to aid with their tendering processes towards expo related projects. Also this is an excellent timing for others to plan their market entry to UAE. 

Ambassador welcomed lovely Pirjo- Liisa Heikkilä to join the UAE Deputy Head of Mission.  Also sadly we had to say Good- Bye to Business Finland representative Mr. Jukka Hahlanterä, Jukka has reached the “mans” age and will enjoy his retirement in Finland. However the good- byes are not final, since he will be still involve with UAE business climate.

The evening followed by a presentation by the biggest Blockchain/Crypto Community in the Middle East. They have been working 2 years to increase awareness regarding this disruptive technology as well as helping start-ups to get exposure to this market while tokenising the community and doing a CTO (community token offering).Gamifying, really is the future as Nordic community also showed on the night. At the end of the event, there was a interactive game, where winners received Bitcoins. To read more about Planet blockchain, please visithttps://planetblockchain.io

 We can not wait to collaborate with other Business Councils around the Emirates to provide our members the events, that are only great place to network, but also to have topics matching with current issues in UAE and in the region.


Yours Sincerely,

Ms. Katja Boutou

Chairman for the Finnish Business Council.



Peikko Group started using revised management systems according to ISO standards among the first companies

Peikko Group has started to use revised ISO 9001:2015 (quality) and ISO 14001:2015 (environment) management system standards. The structure of the revised standards has changed to better support business and leadership. The revision of the quality management system accentuates quality orientated business as a whole. The revision of the environment management system corresponds to the needs of standard users, to increasing environmental challenges, and to social expectations. 

Certification body DNV GL performed audits at Peikko’s production units during autumn 2016. Peikko was among the first companies to take the revised standards into use. Peikko Group’s production units in China, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the United Arab Emirates are now within EN ISO 9001:2015 and EN ISO 14001:2015 multi-site certification. The Russian production unit is included in the revised multi-site certificate with regard to quality certification, and the environmental certification will be carried out during this year. 

Work safety (OHSAS 18001:2007) and welding (ISO 3834-2:2005) certifications are an integral part of Peikko’s multi-site certification. Welding is one of Peikko’s main production processes, and work safety is a one of group wide main focus areas. All management system certificates can be found on Peikko Group’s website at www.peikko.com/QES

”The certification proves that Peikko Group takes better into consideration the needs and expectations of customers and other stakeholder groups with regard to high quality. Our annual process-specific continuous improvement action plans base on together evaluated risks and possibilities for further improvement our operations and product quality in order to guarantee better customer satisfaction”, states Topi Paananen, CEO of Peikko Group Corporation.


Team Finland Day

I was honored to be part of the Team Finland Day 2018 held in Helsinki on Thursday August 30th 2018, representing Middle- East countries together with Ambassadors Ms. Riitta Swan, UAE and Mr. Pekka Voutilainen, KSA, and Business Finland representative Mr. Jukka Hahlanterä, UAE.

Team Finland day is targeted to all Finnish SMEs looking to go global. It is a unique event, where one can meet Team Finland network experts from over 90 different countries, all under one roof. Whether it is about, growth accelerating services, funding options or just about networking, there is definitely something for everybody.

Team Finland is an integral part of Finnish SMEs' internationalization process. Together with government entities, they are able to open doors for businesses, that an individual would not be able to do. As part of their services, they are able to asses, if/when the company is ready to enter certain markets and give individual advice for the same.

The day was filled with several informative speeches, presentations and activities, that many wished this was a 2-days event. That way it would be possible to participate to all the informative workshops and presentations, rather than just choosing one event in each time category.

One of these activities were specially popular: “country/topic specific speed dating event” which gave participants a 15 minutes time-slot to discuss with those, who are immensely experienced in their fields, whether an Ambassador of a specific country, FinnCham representative or a Business Finland specialist. This gave an excellent platform for participants to network with correct focus groups.

Being in the same space with 850 persons from around the world, sharing global ideas and networking with immensely experienced individuals was an experience already by itself. Personally, I enjoyed the atmosphere and energy of the event and cannot wait to attend similar events in the near future again in Finland or abroad.

For more information about Team Finland, their activities and events can be found on  https://team.finland.fi/en/frontpage  

Till Next Year!

Katja Boutou

Chairman of Finnish Business Council UAE

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Finncham Annual Meeting

As a first timer to this meeting, I was quite not sure what to expect, who will be there and what would be the outcome. These thoughts were met with all around positiveness among professionals wanting to achieve results.

The meeting was held end of August in Helsinki. Throughout the day the following three points became the focused topics of the meeting:

1.    The Finncham network is an extensive and reliable trade promotion platform including 35 accredited Finnish Chambers of Commerce around the world.

Last year The Finland Chamber of Commerce has created an accreditation system, that outlines minimum requirements to be a Business Council. 85 Business Councils were ranked and 35 met the requirements, I am happy to report that the UAE is among them. The ranking was established to provide more quality and consistency, which will then transfer into collaborations with government and private entities. This way also other business councils can confidently leverage on each others' networks.

2.  The purpose of the Finncham network is to support Finnish enterprises in starting to do business internationally.

This was a well discussed topic to better understand who are we, what we do, and how we do it. To be able to answer these questions, business councils globally have been asked to draft a 5- year plan. This would enable the chamber in Helsinki to understand better the local and regional differences and challenges, and also the aspirations of each council. This can then be translated into a one main plan, that can be incorporated with government entities.

3.  The Finland Chamber of Commerce coordinates the Finncham network in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Business Finland, and the regional Chambers of Commerce across Finland.

Rather than compete, the objective is to complement one another. Understanding better how these government institutions are there to “serve the companies in their internationalization quest”, also gave more idea “how to accelerate global export” from FBC point. FBC's role is to provide networking opportunities for those Finnish companies, that are interested in, coming or already in the region to grow further their presence and businesses alike. FBC could also draw “Expert Search Data Base” from their members and promote them for the companies looking for advisory in specific sectors.

More information about Finncham please log on https://kauppakamari.fi/en/ 

Katja Boutou, Chairman of Finnish Business Council UAE

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