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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 03
Volume 4
  February 2013



 we are happy to bring many good and exciting news to your from both Finland and Florida.

Florida is seeing a growing activity in several fields; real estate, bio tech, energy and tourism to name a few.

Like wise Finland keeps innovating new technologies and attracting more and global investors. This mix should bring many opportunities to our members and friends alike.


Did you know that just the agriculture business in Florida created $1.57 billion in total sales for 2011-12 with economic impact of over $2.70 billion. Most likely you have had at least orange juice from Florida, and the sugar in your soda could be from our fields as well.


Wishing you a successful month of March! Come and meet us at our many coming events.


At your service,


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


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News from Florida

Office Depot in $1.2 Billion Deal to Buy Rival OfficeMax 
Office Depot Inc will acquire smaller rival OfficeMax Inc in a $976 million all-stock deal. The combined entity's name, headquarters and CEO are all undetermined, an unusual level of major decisions yet to be made that points to the integration challenge the companies face. Read more here.
Florida Power & Light Builds Plant that will Actually Work
Come June 1, Florida Power & Light, the state's largest power company, plans to flip the switch on the state's newest natural gas plant. The 1,250-megawatt power generator took just over two years to build and will cost FPL customers $970 million. That's about $130 million under budget. Duke Energy customers could only wish to be so lucky. Learn more here.

Florida Seeking to Cash in on Drones
By the end of 2015 the skies above America could be home to swarms of unmanned aircraft doing jobs like crop-dusting, disaster response and surveillance. The FAA announced that it would pick 6 locales for test runs and Florida is among the competitors expected to vie for the chance to open its airways as soon as this fall. Read more here.

Commercial Real Estate Across SW Florida Shows Signs of a Comeback
Commercial real estate across Southwest Florida is showing the first signs of a comeback, with eager business operators opening new storefronts and employers expanding operations to accommodate post-recession growth. Read full article here.
Biotech Deals Growing Fast in Florida 
In the analysis by the incubator and BioFlorida, the industry has grown more than 60 percent during the past five years bringing the total number of biotechnology companies to 219. The nation's biotechnology sector grew 5 percent over the same period, according to Ernst & Young and Nature Biotechnology. Read more here.
Investment Firms Buying up Florida Foreclosures 

Hedge funds and investment firms are buying up Florida foreclosures, beating out homebuyers and local flippers, while steering the state into what some fear is another real estate bubble. Read more here.


Tourism Season Starts Strong
Hotels are seeing more guests, attractions are seeing more people and shopping destinations are seeing more foot traffic. On a broad basis, tourism is estimated to add $5 bill a year to the county economy and is the state's No.1 industry. Read more here.


Florida Lawmakers may use State Money to Lure Soccer

A state Senate panel on Tuesday approved a measure (SB 358) that would guarantee $2 million a year for the next 30 years to help pay for a soccer stadium. Orlando has been mentioned as a possible candidate for a new MLS franchise. Read more here. 


Florida ranks #2 for Consumer Spending on Outdoor Recreation.

Florida ranks second for consumer spending on outdoor recreation in the U.S. at $38.3 billion, according to a 2012 state-by-state breakdown released recently by the Outdoor Industry Association. Learn more here. 


News from Finland


Toyota Chooses Nokia's Here Mapping Technology
Toyota Motor Europe is the latest car brand to have chosen Nokia's HERE navigation and infotainment system. Also the Europe's largest German language weather portal Wetter.com which has 13 million unique visitors is using Nokia's web and mobile weather mapping services. Read more here.
U.S. and Finland Tops the list of the Most Innovative Countries in the World
The Bloomberg Rankings examined more than 200 countries and sovereign regions to determine how innovative they were, and based on the examinations it  has published its list of top 50 countries. The number one country by innovation was USA and number four was Finland. Learn more here and see full ranking here.
Kone Delivers Escalators to World's Busiest Airport in the USA 
Kone, the global elevator and escalator company, is delivering new escalators to the world's busiest airport Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at the USA. Kone has got an order to modernise 29 escalators and moving sidewalks at the airport.  Read more here.
North Karelian Trekking Innovation is Heading to the US market 
The Finnish Kupilka brand of outdoor-recreation dishware and eating utensils, made of natural fibre composites, is heading to the US market. Demand for a wide range of camping products is strong, as the target market in the country is estimated at 140 million. Read full article here.
Angry Birds Conquering the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida 
Rovio and the Kennedy Space Center will install an interactive exhibit centered on Angry Birds Space Encounter series. The Center states that this will be the first exhibit of its kind in the United States, and it will be a "comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction", especially aimed at children. Read more here.
Tampere-Based Company Develops Novel Laser Technology 
Primoceler, a small Tampere-based company, is the first in the world to have developed and commercialised a device suitable for demanding laser micro welding. A new method developed by a Finnish company enables, for example, glass and silicon to be bonded entirely hermetically. Learn more here. 

Envor Converts Leftover Food From Cruise Ships Into Biogas
The Forssa-based environmental management company Envor Group uses leftover food and collects the biowaste from the ships when they are at port in Helsinki and transports it to Forssa for processing. The company's waste collection services have helped reduce the amount of biowaste on the ships by roughly a third during the past year. Read more here.
World Record in Tampere - 10-meter Ice Sculpture in 24 hours
Ice artist Pasi Ahokas, winner of the Ice Sculpting Finnish Championships that took place just over a week ago, set a new unofficial world record last weekend in Tampere. Ahokas single-handedly carved an ice sculpture with a measured height of 10.237 metres. Read more and see the Finns history of breaking records here.

Nokia's Lumia 920 Voted for the Best Smartphone of the Year 2012
The Lumia 920 captured 43.7 per cent of all votes. The next closest device was the Samsung Galaxy S3, with less than half the votes at 15.6 per cent, followed by the iPhone 5 with 13.4 per cent. More than 30,000 people voted for the best smartphone. Read more here.

Drivers Permit

Highway Safety agency reassures visitors that travel to the Sunshine State is business as usual 


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Whether you fly or drive to Florida, visitors can be assured the Sunshine State is doing business as usual. Earlier today, DHSMV released a statement to media around the world that the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of a law that requires visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit to drive lawfully in Florida. The statement explained that the law may potentially conflict with an international treaty.


The Department understands the concerns of the international community and is working with its partners to ensure that visitors are not inconvenienced.  Visit Florida, AAA, Canada Automobile Association and law enforcement agencies around the state are helping DHSMV get the message out that Florida's doors and roadways are open as usual to all visitors.


The Department will be working with the Florida Legislature in the coming months to ensure that the law reflects Florida's rich history of welcoming our friends from around the world to the Sunshine State.


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter at @FDHSMV or find us on Facebook.


Released February 14th, 2013

Contact DHSMV Communications: (850) 617-3102

Financial Survival Expo

Listen, learn and question experts from the areas of Financial Planning, Tax Planning, Investment Management, Insurance Planning and Income Opportunities for today's volatile markets and low interest rate environment.


Event is FREE 
and includes COMPLIMENTARY coffee and coffee cake.


When: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 
Time: 1 - 3 pm
Location: 301 Central-Finlandia Boulevard, Lantana, FL 33462



Esa Jokela, ChFC, CLU, Certified Financial Planner™




Brian Pybus, CPA

Brian is President of Pybus & Company, P.A., a local CPA firm providing planning and preparation for both individuals and businesses.


Steven Allbritton, Certified Financial Planner™

Steven represents Hanlon Investment Management, a Registered Investment Advisor firm focusing on active portfolio management.


Additional speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

RSVP by  Tuesday March 19th by email to faccflorida@gmail.com or call 561-582-2335
This event will be in English, but Finnish speaking assistance is available.



FACC Networking Event




Join us for this relaxed and free 
 networking event
 Come and make new contact and enjoy the company of other FACC members.

 When: Thursday March 14th

5:30 -

Where: Brogues Down Under

Location: 621 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, Florida 33460

Other Events


Leadership Palm Beach County Information & Networking Session

March 5, 2013

DiSalvo's Trattoria, 1760 N. Jog Road, Suite 180, West Palm Beach 


5:30-7:00 pm leadershippbc  
RSVP is required: leadershippbc.org/apply


This information session will have an international flair but all are welcome to attend! 
Alumni from a variety of backgrounds will speak about their experiences, and we will enjoy some delicious Italian bites together.


2013 World Leaders Conference 


Conference will feature noted speakers Condoleezza Rice, Gary Kelly, Ken Blanchard, Scott Harrison, Patrick Lencioni, Erwin McManus, Henry Cloud, Craig Groeschel etc.


March 6-7, 2013 2013 leaders

Palm Beach Atlantic University


Register here.


Designed to provide participants with a uniquely personal experience, the World Leaders Conference is limited to an audience size of 400. Bringing together top executives in business and ministry with prominent leadership experts from around the world, the WLC focuses on the critical issues and trends that are shaping business and the church today. 


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 co

FL Chamber

mmunity to hear from top international trade experts and promote the significant role international business has in Florida's economy and in your

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
Palm Beach Strategic ForumPB Economic Forum


April 8-9, 2013
Palm Beach County Convention Center
Five years after the Great Recession, the global economy is showing signs of a moderate return to growth, leaving business and government leaders at a critical juncture of decision-making. What direction should the path to growth take? How can governments achieve a balance between austerity and stimulus? What global risks should business leaders be prepared to navigate? How can regulators achieve a safer financial architecture without stifling economic momentum? Could the spectre of protectionism and competing national monetary policies increase the risk of "currency wars"? 
Jukka Pietikäinen


Consul General in New York, Ambassador Jukka Pietikšinen will be attending the two day seminar with FACC. Additionally, FACC is hosting a small reception for his honor during the forum. If you are interested in sponsoring this event please contact us at faccflorida@gmail.com.


See more here for more information on the event website.


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