Welcome to the President’s Report to the Finland Australia Chamber of Commerce (FACC) Annual General Meeting 2018!
Membership Status and Sponsors
The Chamber Membership has somewhat declined since the last AGM in 2017. We are currently counting 33 members. The number of sponsors (7) decreased slightly compared to last year (8). We welcome Uponor and its local representative Shaun Hill who have become a new sponsor of the Chamber in 2018.
Member Activities in 2017/18
By tradition the Chamber participated in the annual Cruise with the Europeans in Sydney on the 16th of November 2017, co-organized by various European Chambers. There were 23 FACC guests present at the spectacular 2-hour cruise, among over 600 representatives from the European business community in Sydney.
The Chamber also participated in a joint event with the French Australian Chamber of Commerce in Brisbane. On 19 April 2018 our members were invited to join in a Tchin-Tchin networking event with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at Brisbane’s Southbank.
On 17 May 2018 the Chamber was pleased to hold its inaugural event to celebrate the opening of the FACC Brisbane Chapter. The event was timed to occur at the same time as Myriad. The Board is grateful to Paul Catchlove from Gadens who has made this event possible and who has agreed to facilitate the Chamber’s future networking activities for our Queensland based members through our new Brisbane Chapter.
On 16 May 2018 the Chamber invited its members to an exclusive European networking event that showcased European and Australian business opportunities during CEBIT in Sydney.
As in previous years, FACC held member networking drinks for our members and friends at the Sir Stamford Hotel in Sydney. The Chamber organises this get together on a quarterly basis and events were held this year on 13 February, 23 May and 19 September 2018.
Nokia officially opened its new Oceania headquarters in Sydney on 30 August 2018 and I attended this event on behalf of FACC. The Chamber is hopeful to resume Nokia’s involvement in the Chamber in the future.
Although there as no Nordic Open Golf Day held in 2018, we can report that this event will from now on be organised by the Swedish Chamber and the next golf day has been scheduled for March 2019. We will publish the date for our members closer to the time.
Visit by Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Business Delegation
A Finnish Delegation made an official visit to Australia & New Zealand from the 25thof February to 3rdof March 2018. Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs Finland, was joined by a high-level business delegation of innovative Finnish companies visiting New Zealand, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle. The objective of Minister Lintilä’s visit was to foster specific opportunities for cooperation between Finnish and Australian companies in the areas of Smart Cities/IoT and Waste Management.
On the 1 March 2018 an Innovation Forum was held at the University of Technology (UTS) in Sydney for the Finnish delegation and invited guests. After the remarks by Minister Lintilä and a keynote address by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Ms Clover Moore, the seminar continued with interesting keynotes and panel discussions from several Australian and Finnish companies.
Upcoming Events and Initiatives
To support the above mentioned event and other key activities planned for 2018-2019, Team Finland in Australia has completed research throughout the period on a number of industries identified as offering the best potential for Finnish companies in this region. These include smart cities; Internet of Things (IoT); Mobility as a Service (MaaS); Health and Wellness; Lifestyles (Fashion & Design); eCommerce and Public Safety. Some member companies have provided valuable insights into these sectors when interviewed in Australia for these projects. Furthermore, in November, Business Finland will lead a delegation to the Critical Communications event in Melbourne comprising ~ 12 Finnish organizations with expertise in the area of public safety and critical communications. The Chamber looks forward to supporting this delegation.
The 2018 Cruise with the Europeans is taking place on Thursday 15thof November 2018 and we look forward to seeing our members and friends there again! This year the Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce will join the cruise for the first time.
On 6 December 2018 FACC will hold a Finnish Independence Day Dinner at the Blanca Bar & Dining venue at Bondi Beach in Sydney. Finnish chef Tomi Björck has created a three course Finnish-inspired “Sound of Tumbling Waves” menu for us. We hope you can join us to enjoy this Finnish culinary treat.
The Chamber has improved its website (www.finland.com.au) by including a list of trade shows in Australia. We encourage our members to have a look at this information and to let us know if there are any other events should should be included.
The board is considering the introduction of a new digital platform to better manage the Chamber’s events and communication with its members. So you might see some changes in the coming months and we welcome your feedback as to whether you think that this improves how you experience the Chamber.
The Chamber is considering holding another business seminarfor its members in 2019. We have recently sent out an email with a survey seeking your input on possible topics which you would like to see addressed as this seminar. We welcome your feedback and suggestions!
Change of Board Members
Since the last AGM in October 2017, two members have left the Board. Antti Niemela, Deputy Head of Mission has left the Embassy in Canberra in June 2018 and will be replaced on the board by his successor in due course. Tim Purcell retired from the board due to work commitments and was replaced by Joel Mustonen who joined the board in September.
The Chamber is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding support received from the following sponsors in 2017/18, hoping we will continue our successful collaboration in coming years.
- Australian Finnish Rest Homes
- HWL Ebsworth
Sydney, 17 October 2018