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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 8
Volume 7
August 2015



Greetings from Finland where I spent the last couple of months working on a project and relearning the Finnish way of business. 


One of the things I noticed was how differently the news are presented to you depending on which side of the globe you are sitting. In Europe you cannot watch news on TV without Greece or Ukraine being mentioned. In the U.S. the national news barely mention those regions (Al Jazeera, CNN, FOC, MSNMB...). The stalling negotiations of the TTP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) talks instead get everyone's attention here, as the Europeans focus more on the TTIP negotiations. On the local level, problems in Puerto Rico and opportunities in Cuba are getting highlighted.  


One could argue that the real news are no longer seen on TV, but rather through social media. However, the point is still that we perceive things differently depending where we are. And the relevance of news on one continent is not as relevant on the other. Nevertheless, it is sometimes good to change the perspective and take a little distance from the obvious issues in front of us and perhaps see the problems differently and even find a better solution. After all, it is a global market and one decision on the other side of the world affects all.

On a positive note, Florida has seen tremendous growth in several markets as you can read on this newsletter. The SM market is getting funded and is growing at a rapid pace. In Finland, we are seeing tougher years, but perhaps there is a lesson we can learn if you look at how Florida climbed back on its feet after being hit hard during 2008-2010.

While in Finland, I was glad to learn that after years of negotiations, CIMO in now interested in funding trainees at FACCs. We've had 10 interns so far from Finland, each a valuable asset to our growth.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our current intern, Essi Marjamäki, for a fabulous job during the past 4 months, as she is ready to return to Finland to finish her Master's degree at Aalto University School of Business. She has been an invaluable asset to our team and will be to any future employer as she enters into the market. Best of luck to all your endeavors! If you haven't yet had a chance to read some of her blog posts, you can check them out here.


At your service,


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


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Introducing New Member

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Members making headlines

Almaco to provide food handling solutions for Star Cruises
ALMACO's complete Food Handling solutions for Galleys, Provision Stores and Refrigeration Machinery will be featured onboard the two new ships for Star Cruises, which will be built at Meyer Werft and delivered during the fall of 2016 and 2017 respectively. Additionally, ALMACO's delivery includes the latest energy-saving and monitoring technology through ICM, or Integrated Catering Management system. Read more about the deal here.

Further, ALMACO will also be participating in another project: The Grand Bahama Port Authority has partnered with the government to fund the construction of a student dormitory and multipurpose facility at The College of The Bahamas Northern Campus. The student housing project will be built by ALMACO, and is anticipated to provide 30 to 50 construction jobs. Read more here. 

What is coming up?

We have been planning exciting events for the next season 2015-2016. Mark your calendars!

  • 6th/7th: Business Event & Ambassador / Pre-Sibelius Event
  • 11th: Christmas Party
  • State of the Market / Chamber Seminar
  • Immigration Presentation
  • Networking Luncheon with a long-term care & retirement income planning theme
  • Planning & Networking Event

News from Florida

Florida fourth in private equity investment, ranking shows

Private equity firms invested $33.9 billion in 178 Florida companies in 2014, ranking Florida fourth nationwide for private equity investment (measured in dollars), according to new rankings released by the Private Equity Growth Capital Council. The U.S. private equity industry in the U.S. comprises nearly 4,000 investment firms. Companies backed by U.S. private equity firms employ 11.3 million people in the U.S. and 19.6 million people worldwide, according to the Private Equity Growth Capital Council. Read more here.


Florida allocated $97.6 million from U.S. small business capital program

The U.S. Treasury Department's State Small Business Credit Initiative allocated more than $97.6 million in funds to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to help local businesses access the capital they need to grow and hire, and Florida is among the top states to have put its total allocation of program funds to use. Read more here.

Florida ports dig deep to draw bigger ships, create jobs
South Florida's seaports are striving to grow wider and deeper to lure a bigger share of the increased trade expected to flow from Asia and Latin America. Port Everglades just got approval for a federally funded dredging project. Port Miami already has dug its harbor down to 50 feet to attract a new generation of super-sized cargo ships. All of Florida's ports hope to benefit from increased trade, as a growing middle class in emerging nations demands more imported goods. Read more here.

Miami middle market firms top state for export business
Miami's middle markets firms are outperforming their peers across the nation in terms of exporting, according to a new study from American Express and Dun & BradstreetApproximately 20 percent of middle market firms in Miami are engaged in exporting, compared to 10 percent in Florida and 5 percent across the U.S. What's remarkable is that relative to other states, Florida has a low proportion of middle market firms - just 6,715, or 0.36 percent of total firms. Middle market firms across the nation make up 0.72 percent, double that in Florida. Read more here.

Miami-Dade among top in nation for financial sector job growth
Miami-Dade County was tops in the state and third in the nation for job growth in the financial services sector, according to a new report released by Headlight Data. Miami-Dade's growth can largely be credited to one finance sector. Financial services employment grew nearly 5 percent last year, its highest rate in at least 25 years with the exception of 2012's recession bounce of 8 percent. Read more here.

Florida among top states with fastest job growth

Florida was ranked one of the top 10 states expected to see the fastest employment gains in 2015.

The state's job market this year is forecasted to grow 3.2 percent and next year the state is expected to see job growth of 3.4 percent. In addition, Florida, along with California, also will be among the top 10 states with the biggest job gains. Read more here.


New distribution center for Port Canaveral breaks ground in Titusville

The Titusville Logistics Center, a cargo handling facility serving Port Canaveral, broke ground late July. The first building in the 320-acre complex will be a 246,000-square-foot warehouse leased by the port. The center is part of Port Canaveral's ongoing push into cargo operations, which expanded significantly last month when it opened a new cargo terminal operated by Gulftainer Corp. The port will use the Titusville warehouse for its cargo customers. Read more here. 


News from Finland

Huhtamäki acquires US manufacturer for EUR 6 million

Finnish specialist in food and drink packaging, Huhtamäki, has acquired the assets and business of American privately owned company Pure-Stat Technologies, Inc. The purchase price was approximately 6 million euros. Situated in Lewiston, Maine, Pure-Stat's laminate is used as a component in a number of Huhtamäki's moulded fibre products. Company staff number 12 people in its manufacturing unit, which became part of Huhtamäki's North America business segment as of 1 July. The acquisition joins Huhtamäki's network of 69 manufacturing units and 23 sales offices across 34 countries. The company employs approximately 16 000 people. Read more here.


Finns among world's most creative

Finland's R&D investment has been ranked second in the world and its education attainment third in the 2015 Global Creativity Index (GCI). The index measures the prosperity of 139 nations, based on the 3Ts of economic development: talent, technology and tolerance. Finns were found to have some of the highest levels of productivity, competitiveness, entrepreneurship and overall human development in the world after tying with Denmark in fifth position overall in the index. Read more here. 


Finland leads in number of ICT specialists

The Finnish workforce has the highest proportion of ICT specialists, according to the country comparison in the Digital Economy Outlook 2015 published by the OECD. The proportion of ICT specialists of Finland's entire workforce is six per cent. Sweden came second with just over five per cent, followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland with just under five per cent each. In the use of cloud services by companies, Finland was followed by Iceland, Italy and Sweden. Read more here. 


Kone buys second German lift firm

Finland-based global elevator and escalator firm Kone has acquired Klostermann Aufzüge, a German elevator maintenance and modernisation services company that currently employs about 40 people. In its second German acquisition this year, Kone purchased Herne-based Klostermann Aufzüge GmbH. The elevator maintenance and modernisation company based in Herne employs about 40 people and has contracts for servicing about 1,300 elevators. Read more here.


German car makers close to buying HERE for €2.5bn 

Audi, BMW and Daimler are close to acquiring the mapping and location unit of Nokia, HERE, two sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters in July. The news agency reports that the premium car manufacturers are prepared to cough up 2.5-3.0 billion euros for the mapping and location unit, which according to financial reports filed by Nokia has a book value of roughly 2 billion euros. A formal agreement has yet to be hammered out, however, as the parties continue to wrangle over the transfer of technology patented by Nokia that allows self-driving vehicles to connect to mobile networks. If the intellectual property issues are settled, the takeover could be finalised by the end of the month. Read more here.


Construction sector - an economic bright spot?

According to the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), managers in the building trade expect to be hiring in the coming months. EK's survey of business executives showed that confidence in the construction sector "improved clearly in July", edging above the long-term average. There was also a slight uptick in confidence in the retail trade - though the index languishes well below its average level. Read more here.

Finnair expands logistics network in deal with IAG Cargo

Finnair's subsidiary Finnair Cargo cooperates in a freighter sharing deal with IAG Cargo in a bid to strengthen the cargo connections between Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Finnair will open its third cargo hub in Europe in London, in addition to the ones in Helsinki and BrusselsConnecting the two companies' carrier networks will open up new cargo destinations for Finnair, especially in North America. IAG Cargo, in return, will be able to tap into Finnair's advanced network connecting Europe with the Asia Pacific region. Read more here. 

Upcoming partner events 
 FinnCham Meeting

August 27-29, 2015

Helsinki, Finland

 Finland Chamber of Commerce is inviting all FinnCham-partners including chambers, trade guilds and associations worldwide to a FinnCham meeting. Finnish Government has developed public export and import promotion services under Team Finland process for over two years. Now it's time to consider how private actors could be more active and integral part of Team Finland. FinnCham representatives are coming to Helsinki all the way from Asia, Europe and America to discuss the role of private actors in trade promotion and to share best practices. For more information, please contact:  anne.hatanpaa@chamber.fiWe look forward to welcoming you to the FinnCham meeting in Helsinki!


Nordic Road Show by SelectUSA

September 14-21, 2015 

The five-country SelectUSA Nordic Road Show to Oslo, Copenhagen/Malmo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn will offer U.S. state, local, regional, and tribal economic development organizations (EDOs) the opportunity to market their locations directly to potential investors in the Nordics. As one of the world's most innovative regions, the Nordic Road Show will take you to the birthplace of leading high-tech companies from the information technology (ICT), energy/clean tech, and design and construction sectors. Find out more here.


International Trade Master Series

September 16 - October 14, 2015

Tampa, Florida 

Take an in-depth look at the principal areas of international trade with Tampa Bay's leading global experts. Information covered will help you strengthen your international business and become more competitive abroad. The master series will focus on the following components of international trade:
International Marketing - Wednesday, September 16
Supply Chain Management - Wednesday, September 23
Global Business Management - Wednesday, September 30
Tax, Legal and Regulatory Compliance - Wednesday, October 7Export Finance, Partners & Free-Trade Zones - Wednesday, October 14
Find out more here.

Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE): Doing Business with the World
October 13, 2015
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County and all of South Florida will welcome international cities to recognize this region as one of the top business opportunity destinations in the world. The goal of FITCE is to expand Broward County as the premier importing and exporting trading capital, while helping to establish new businesses and nurture existing ones to continue growing. Meet one-on-one with international delegates, former presidents, government leaders, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce leaders, business alliances and councils, seasoned importers/exporters, and representatives from Broward Country's three leading public economic engines: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as Broward County's Cultural Division, Enterprise Florida, and The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. The event is followed by a Bi-National Chambers' Cocktail Reception. Find out more here.


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