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.

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Katja Boutou, Chairman of Finnish Business Council UAE

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