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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 25
Volume 7
May 2015


Floridians know how vital trade is to its survival. Florida exports over $60.5 billion in goods and services to foreign markets. It supports some 2.4 million jobs and over 245,800 people in Florida were employed by affiliates of companies that are at least 50% foreign-owned. In 2011, around 60,147 companies exported goods from Florida. Of these, 95% were small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees. Florida is keen on pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) in order to secure free trade between the regions. It's largest market been the central and south American, looking for expansion from the Pacific market seems just natural. 

The discussions on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) haven't been as smooth, but naturally Florida has a keen interest in expanding trade relationships with Europe as well. However, seeing resistance from bureaucracies and interest groups over key sectors, some dark clouds seem to be already gathering over the waters of the Atlantic.

As you can see from the newsletter, FACC continues to build strong relationships with key partners in order to provide better exposure and services to our members. The coming months will be critical planning season for us, and we appreciate your feedback on how we can continue serving you and if there are issues that you feel are relevant to bring up in the future. Would love to hear from you!


At your service,


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


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FACC events



ABICC and its bi-national chambers of commerce in Florida cordially invite you to the

Inauguration of the 15th ABICC World Business Month 2015. As a FACC member you are automatically an ABICC member, too. Come and join us for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and networking reception with International Wine & Food Tasting. Don't forget to bring lots of business cards!

Date: May 4, 2015
Time: 6pm
Place: The Double Tree Grand Hotel, Biscayne Bay, 1717 North Bay Shore Drive, Miami
Cost: $10 (entrance fee)


Introducing New Member

InXpress is a global system and is DHL's exclusive global partner for medium and small business. InXpress provides deep-discounted pricing and enhanced service for customer's international shipping. In addition, InXpress provides multiple carrier freight options for our customers: Air Freight, Ocean, Domestic LTL, Full and Partial Truckload, and Expedited.


InXpress has over 100 offices in the USA and is in over 20 countries around the world. Welcome InXpress to our vibrant business community!


Lessons from World Strategic Forum

World Strategic Forum
On Monday the 13th of April FACC attended the World Strategic Forum held in Biltmore Hotel in Miami. The Forum was presented by the Economic Forum of the Americas to address the major governance challenges of the new world economic order, focusing on the central role of the Americas in the global economy. The Forum was a perfect opportunity to learn, participate and network.

We warmly recommend all our members to attend this event next year! FACC has worked hard to establish connections with the International Economic Forum of Americas, who is behind this event. The price of a ticket to the event is worth of $800, but we have had the opportunity to give out some tickets to our members in recent years. Thus, keep your eyes open next year this time to get a chance to participate! Read more about the event and see pictures here.

Missed it? No worries, here is a recap.

Networking Event

FACC arranged a networking event together with Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce on the 22nd of April. The event was an opportunity for FACC and Lantana Chamber of Commerce members to mix and mingle. Did you know that for an additional $50 to the regular membership fee, our members will get a membership with the Greater Lantana Chamber of Commerce? The event was also a perfect opportunity to sign up for this dual membership, which adds visibility for local small businesses without a significant monetary investment. The event was a great success, which encourages us to arrange more such networking opportunities in the future. You can read more about the event and see pictures here. We are looking forward to seeing everyone who missed this event in the upcoming ones!

Strategies to Optimize Your Social Security Income
FACC co-organized a Social Security event together with our member, Security First Financial on the 28th of April, 2015. The aim of the event was to shed light on the strategies to optimize your social security income. The expert and the speaker of the event was FACC's Board Member Esa Jokela, the founder and president of Security First Financial, Inc., a full service Financial Planning firm. Jokela's main objective is helping his clients to grow and protect their retirement assets and, thus, he was an excellent choice to give a presentation on the topic. Thank you very much Esa for making this event possible! There were quite a few questions raising from the audience such as: Are the benefits taxable? Am I entitled to my spouse's benefits if I'm not yet claiming my own? If you have similar questions or concerns, Security First Financial is more than happy to schedule an appointment with you! Read more about the event here.         

News from Florida

Florida adds 30,600 jobs in March, unemployment rate stays flat

Florida kept creating jobs last month. Overall, the state added 30,600 jobs over the month. But many of those jobs remained clustered in lower-paying industries like tourism and retail. However, all industries except for information have added jobs over the year. Read more here.


U.S. home prices accelerated in February as sales rose

U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in February than the previous month, driven by higher sales and a limited supply of available houses. Faster sales likely drove the price gain. Signed contracts to buy homes jumped in February, yet the number of Americans listing their homes for sale remains low. That has led to bidding wars in some cities. Read more here.

Did you know Florida is the 7th largest exporter of state-origin products?

The impact Florida's international relationships have on our economy cannot be denied. As the 7th largest exporter of state-origin products, Florida-origin exports total more than $58.6 billion and exports from Florida supported 275,221 U.S. jobs in 2013. International business and foreign direct investment account for approximately 17 percent of Florida's economic activity, and directly support more than 1 million Florida jobsFrom the Americas and beyond, Florida is quickly becoming the hub for global trade. As global trade and economic activity expand over the coming decades, international commerce will continue to play a role as an essential driver of Florida's future. Read more here.


Visit Florida: 98.9M visitors came to Florida last year

Preliminary 2014 visitation figures released by Visit Florida this week show that 98.9 million visitors came to the Sunshine State last year, a 5.1 percent increase over the previous high of 93.7 million in 2013. The latest numbers also represent the second-largest year-over-year increase Florida has experienced in a decade. "Tourism is Florida's No. 1 industry, and every 85 visitors to our state adds another job for our families.," said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Read more here.


Orlando becomes first destination to surpass 60M visitors

The 2014 tourist numbers are in, and boy, are they good for the metro Orlando region. Visit Orlando reports that more than 62 million people visited Orlando in 2014, marking an all-time new record for the U.S. travel industry. "The impact of tourism on our community is remarkable and, in fact, the travel and tourism industry is the largest generator of jobs and economic impact for our region," said Orange County Mayor. Read more here.

How Florida's swelling population presents business opportunities

Businesses that make products, the stores that sell them and the real estate professionals who find the sites where they can house their companies are among potential big winners as Florida's population grows. Population gains in the Sunshine State are twice those of the national average, said Richard Hokenson, head of global demographic research at Evercore Partners' International Strategy and Investment business. Read more here. 


Cuba: How much opportunity?

Today, Cuba is full of construction workers building malls and luxury hotels. By world standards, the Hotel Manzana, for example, is not a huge project, but it's significant within Cuba, which is trying to evolve a new approach from within a single-party, socialist government that has for decades maintained a tight grip on the country's economy. To some - those who want to see the U.S. end the nearly 60-year-old trade embargo - it is also a symbol of the type of opportunities that American investors and businesses are currently missing. "There are a lot of American interests that could be accomplished with Cuba," a representative of Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Relations - "Minrex," for short - told me over an informal lunch in Havana. "It's not just about politics. It's about business." Read more here.


News from Finland


Finnish electric supercar turn heads in Monaco 

After April 16th's unveiling at the Top Marques car show in Monaco, the automotive press is talking about the 1MW Toroidion electric-powered concept sports car. Auto designer and Toroidion founder Pasi Pennanen created the gull-winged car in Pohja, a village in southern Finland. Read more here


Nokia's Alcatel-Lucent merger largest corporate acquisition in Finnish history

Nokia's 15.6 billion euro acquisition of its US-French rival Alcatel-Lucent will be carried out as a share exchange, creating a telecom equipment giant with sales nearing 26 billion euros, a sum equivalent to half of Finland's state budget. The new merged company, that will be known as Nokia Corporation in future, will have stronger exposure to the critical North American market, as it contains key contracts with AT&T and Verizon. Read more here.


Exports of Finnish health technology grew strongly

Strong demand for Finnish health technology products led to record exports of 1.8 billion euros in 2014. Product exports grew 8.3 percent compared to 2013. According to the Finnish Health Technology Association, FiHTA, last year's growth in exports was mainly due to 10.3 percent growth in exports of medical equipment. Read more here.


Finland 2nd in global Network Readiness Index

The World Economic Forum has ranked Finland first of the EU countries, and in second position globally, in their annual Networked Readiness Index (NRI). The index measures the propensity of countries to utilise opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT). The NRI is widely regarded as the definitive global study of ICT's impact on the growth and competitiveness of nations, along with their citizens' wellbeing. Read more here.


Huhtamäki improved its performance in North America

Huhtamäki, a global specialist in packaging for food and drink had an Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on the 21st of April. The company's turnover improved from 513.6 million to 630.1 million euros the past year. The growth was strongest in North American markets where the turnover increased by 28%. However, all the European business segments showed steady growth, too. Read more in Finnish here. The resolutions of Huhtamäki's annual meeting can be found in English here.


Finland is the place to be for ICT

Finland stood out as the top country for information and communications technology (ICT), according to February's European Commission Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Relatively speaking, Finland's ICT sector is bigger than that of its European peers - and no country can match the Finns for advanced IT skills. Read more here.


Finnish Finlandia butter available in stores in the U.S.

Valio has introduced a new imported Finlandia butter to the American markets. This is to compensate the declined exports to Russia, which have created about 20% of Valio's total turnover. The Finlandia brand is known in the U.S. for its cheeses. The new butter is marketed as a premium brand. The marketing heavily emphasizes that the butter is produced in Finland in small, family-owned farms. Valio's turnover in the American markets was 77 million dollars last year, which is about three percent of the company's total turnover. Read more in Finnish here.

Upcoming partner events 

2015 International Town Hall

May 8, 2015
St. Petersburg, Florida

The Tampa Bay Export Alliance presents the 2015 International Town Hall. This event kicks off World Trade Month with an in-depth look at the people and programs driving international business growth in Tampa Bay. In addition to keynote presentations, the event will feature panels, fireside chats and expo as well as extensive time for Q&A, discussion among participants, and networking opportunities.  Don't miss the chance to be part of the conversation at this exciting and interactive signature event. Enter promotional code: THEDC to receive $10 off of your registration. 


Discover Global Markets: The Americas

May 12-14, 2015

Miami, Florida

Join the U.S. Commercial Service, the Florida District Export Council and Enterprise Florida for Discover Global Markets: The Americas, the premier international business conference for U.S. executives. Come explore new market opportunities and learn effective strategies from senior U.S. Diplomats and business leaders in the region. Discover Global Markets: The Americas is the ONLY opportunity in 2015 to learn the latest business intelligence from across the Americas all in one location. You can register here.


11 Steps to Exporting - A Roadmap to your Exporting Success

May 14, 2015

Sunrise, Florida

The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development invites you to join us for a special seminar series on the key steps to exporting. The seminar will take place during the Global Trade Chamber Export-Import Convention. We will demystify the process together and see why exporting can be a key to your company's future success. The seminar will also introduce you to Broward County's local, state and federal resources for international trade. All industries are invited to participate. For more information contact Paola Isaac Baraya, pisaac@broward.org954-358-7894. You can register here.

2015 International Trade Certificate Program
May 28- June 18, 2015
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The Florida SBDC Fort Lauderdale will be offering its 2015 International Trade Certificate Program every Tuesday and Thursday starting on May 28th and ending on June 18th. The program will consist of seven sessions from 4:30pm- 8:30pm each evening including dinner. If you own a successful business and want to explore potential international markets or an exporter looking to enhance your knowledge, then this program is right for you. This program is accredited by National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). Attendees will receive a certificate from the SBDC upon completion of the training. In addition, this program prepares attendees to become Certified Business Global Professionals (CGBP). Contact Parbatee Chang at for more information. 


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