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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 01
Volume 4
  January 2013



the New Year brings FACC, Florida many new opportunities. We have seen a steady growth in our memberships and are honored to have gained the trust of many local organizations.

Our promise to you is that we will keep working in creating opportunities to meet with new business prospect and by providing interesting lectures and networking opportunities for all.

We encourage you to get involved by either partnering with us in organizing/sponsoring events or perhaps even being the main lecturer? If you think you have an idea that would benefit our members please do not be shy on communication it to us.


 Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


Membership info 

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Current members 


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Embassy of Finland

News from Finland

State of Florida 

News from Palm Beach

News from Miami

Enterprise Florida  



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News from Florida

Fiscal cliff compromise will cost Florida billions 
Congress may have kept the nation from going over the fiscal cliff, but it failed to avert a multi-billion dollar hit to Florida's struggling economy.

The decision to let the 2010 deduction in the Social Security payroll tax expire will cost Floridians an estimated $6.5 billion, said Sean Snaith, director for Institute Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida.

With 7.1 million Florida households seeing a tax increase, the result will be a contraction in the state economy, Snaith said.


Florida's Minimum Wage Rises
Florida's minimum wage is going up by 12 cents per hour to $7.79 on Jan.1 due to an increase in the cost of living. Florida is one of 19 states with minimum wages above the national limit of $7.25 per hour. It's also among 10 states with minimum wages indexed to cost of living increases. Read more here. 

Workers Optimistic for Better Year in 2013
According to the survey, 57 percent of employees believe they are likely to receive a raise in 2013, up 10 percent from last year. A majority of employees believe the job market will pick up next year. Workers also feel positive about their companies, predicting their employers will expand their workforce in 2013 and believing they will receive a promotion, which is up 6 and 7 percent, respectively from October 2011. Read full survey here.

Panama Canal Expansion: A Game Changer?
Florida's 15 deep-water ports plan to spend $2.6 billion over five years deepening their channels, adding cranes, dockside rail and other infrastructure to better position themselves to capture the cargo traffic and the good-paying jobs that trade generates. Part of the building boom is focused on giant ships that will begin transiting a wider Panama Canal in 2015. Read full analysis here.

Interesting Florida International Trade Stats
Florida employs 530,671 people in trade and logistics, including air, rail, water and truck transportation, pipelines and warehousing. The top five counties for trade traffic are Miami-Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Polk and Broward. See full stats here.

Florida ranks #3 in Population Growth
The Sunshine State grew by 1.23 percent and now has an estimated population of 19.3 million residents. Florida is still the nation's fourth largest state, but trails the third-largest state, New York, by only a quarter million residents. Florida trailed only Texas and California in sheer numeric growth. Read more here.

Florida Companies Employ 36,500 Connected to 'Unconventional' Technologies
International business analytics firm IHS Global Insight. forecasts employment will rise in Florida to 65,063 by the end of the decade, and 79,499 by 2035 even if Florida continues to be without unconventional production. IHS says that on a national basis, unconventional oil and gas activity supported more than 1.7 million jobs in the lower 48 states in 2012. Read full article here.

Expansion at Cecil Airport Generates over 300 Jobs
A new 150,000-square-foot hangar being built at Cecil Airport is expected to generate 350 to 400 new aviation-related jobs. Michael Stewart, Director of External Affairs for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority said Monday morning the JAA announced they would build a new hangar to accommodate FlightStar Aircraft Services' expansion. Read more here.

Home Sales are Sizzling in South Florida 
Sales of existing homes and condominiums jumped 23 percent in Miami-Dade in November from a year earlier, even with a tight inventory of homes on the market, the Miami Association of Realtors said. Read full article here.
Palm Beach County Home Prices Rose 20% from a Year Ago
The median price of a single-family home sold in November was $219,500, up nearly 20 percent from November 2011, according to a report released today by the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Sales also spiked. There were 1,104 home sales last month, up 15 percent from a year ago. Read more here.
Orlando-to-Miami Train Could Generate $145M in Fares Annually
If the All Aboard Florida train becomes a reality, the system linking Orlando International Airport with Miami would generate $145 million in fares annually by 2018, according to records filed by the company with the state. Read more here.



News from Finland


Finland Shares Top Spot as Least Corrupt Country
Finland shares the spot with Denmark and New Zealand in Transparency International's 2012 index of the least corrupt countries.The index measures perceptions of the degree of corruption in 176 countries as seen by business people and country analysts. See full index here.

Finland Opens World's First Ice Cross Downhill Center
The World's first ice cross downhill training center will be launched at Serena Ski in Espoo in January 2013. The goal is also to make the ice cross downhill training centre a future part of the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship series. Learn more here. 
Laura Birn Nominated for Best Actress Award in US 

Actress Laura Birn has been nominated for a Satellite Award for her role in Antti Jokinen's film Purge. Birn plays Aliide Truu in the film. Birn was nominated in the category of Best Actress alongside, among others, Keira Knightley and Jennifer Lawrence. Read full article here.

Wärtsilä Wins Order for LNG Ferry
Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä says the first North American ferry to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) will use its propulsion system. The engine will help the ferry meet emissions rules for the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA). Learn more here.

New Method Facilitates Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's
Earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be facilitated through the PredictAD software tool, developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and based on the patient's measured data combined with large databases. VTT has proven that, by implementing the new method, up to half of all patients could be diagnosed approximately one year earlier than at present. Learn more here. 

Finland Ranks High in World Justice Project
The annual survey of 97 countries conducted by the Washington-based World Justice Project ranks Finland fourth. The index, which measures corruption, security and general governance, is designed to give a sense of which governments are fair and accountable. Read more here.

Pasi Sahlberg Wins Education Award in the US
Pasi Sahlberg has been granted the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education for his book that unlocks the secrets of the Finnish school system and its success. Diane Kyle, the Faculty Director for the award, says that there is a lot to be learned from Sahlberg's work and experience. Learn more here.
Finnish Diagnostics Company Wins Startup Company Competition and Expands to US
The product that Abacus entered for the competition is a system designed for hospital and health care laboratories, which identifies hospital-acquired bacteria. The company is now expanding its product range and opening up new markets in Russia and the United States. Read full article here.

Member Introduction


Optimus Consulting Group Inc. is your partner in the U.S. market offering management, strategic consulting and business intelligence. Optimus Consulting is specialized in serving foreign companies in the U.S. by offering soft landing services.


 With their expensive network and knowledge of local business culture they can help you navigate through the hoops of starting a business and keeping your business records straight in complying with local regulations and much more.  Optimus Consulting takes care of their clients from the smallest request of finding you a Harley Davidson to introducing you to a potential business buyer or partner.

Marinetek is an internationally recognized brand name for premium marinas and advanced floating solutions. With industry's widest pontoon product range and our network of 300 marina experts around the world, Marinetek can match different customer needs from a custom-made floating structure to a world-class marina.
Marinetek offers concrete, steel, aluminum and timber pontoons, break waters, floating housing and marina equipment. Through collaborative partnerships, Marinetek provides its customers expertise and turnkey-services from design, manufacturing and installation to maintenance and modernization of marinas 

Welcome to Florida - Tervetuloa Floridaan
  January 31st


When: Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Time: 2pm - 4pm
Location: 908 Lehto Lane, Lake Worth, FL 33461
Includes free "Tervetuloa Floridaan" - pamphlet

Useful general information about housing, real estate, insurances, banking, education and much more.
This is a great opportunity for the newcomers to get answers for your questions.


If you are not yet a member, now is the time to join and become part of a vibrant Finnish- American business community.


More info about FACC: Email at info@facc-fl.com or call to 561-582 2335 



                         TAPAHTUMA SUOMENKIELINEN



FACC Upcoming Events



 What We Can Learn From Finnish Educators? 


Pasi Sahlberg

Thursday, February 7th
This event will be held together with Palm Beach State College
Time and place: TBA
More details about this event soon. Stay tuned!
Keynote speaker: Pasi Sahlberg
Pasi Sahlberg is Director General of CIMO (in the Ministry of Education) in Helsinki, Finland. He has experience in classroom teaching, training teachers and leaders, coaching schools to change and advising education policy-makers around the world. Dr. Sahlberg has lived and worked in the United States (World Bank in Washington DC) and Italy (European Commission). He is an international keynote speaker and has published over 100 articles, chapters and books. Dr. Sahlberg is a member of the Board of Directors of ASCD and Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu. His latest book is "Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland?" 
Read here what Seattle Times wrote about Dr Sahlberg´s recent visit to the NW.
 Financial Survival Expo 
Tuesday, February 26th 
Time: 1 - 4 pm
Cost: FREE 


Financial Survival Expo will help you understand uncertainties of current financial markets and how to prepare for the future. How to invest for growth, and/or income in a low interest rate environment? How do the new tax laws affect you? How to generate secure and predictable income in a low interest rate environment? How to protect your assets in uncertain times?  Hear experts discuss these important topics and gain valuable information to better plan for your future.rkets and how to prepare for the future. How to invest for growth, and/or income in a low interest rate environment? How do the new tax laws affect you? What are the proper tax planning strategies for the new


 Palm Beach Strategic Forum 
April 8-9, 2013 
International economic forum
More information on the event website.

Other Events

 Can Latin America Adjust to Weak U.S. and European Growth?

January 15, 2013
Miami, Florida

The Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami invites you to attend a special breakfast program with David Malpass, a prominent economist from New York City, who will be giving a presentation on "Can Latin America Adjust to Weak U.S. and European Growth?" David Malpass is currently President of Encima Global, as well as a Columnist for Forbes, and a former Chief Economist at Bear Stearns. He also held government positions with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for developing nations, respectively.



 MiaGreen Expo & Conference

January 31-February 1, 2013
Miami Beach, Florida

The MiaGreen Expo & Conference is the only event in the United States providing access to the ever-growing, non-stoppable green, renewable and sustainable markets for ALL the Americas. With its unique marketing mix (80% US + 20% Latin America & the Caribbean), MiaGreen has developed as the one-stop, all-inclusive, interactive conference and marketplace for SUSTAINABILITY, combining a major trade show with front edge extensive educational and networking programs.


2013 International Days


Featuring Keynote Speaker Tom Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce


April 1-3, 2013
Tallahassee, Florida

Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida's international business community to hear from top international trade experts and promote the significant role international business has in Florida's economy and in your business.
Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet with Florida's legislators and top decision makers to promote the importance of trade and international business
  • Discuss the importance of manufacturing exports and the industry's significant role in our goal to double Florida-origin exports in 5 years
  •  Hear from experts on trade issues and regulations affecting Florida's international business economy and more



We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.




Lena Hartikainen
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce