Join FinnCham Beijing
Join FinnCham Beijing
Our Business Community in Beijing
Dear FinnCham Beijing Members,
When I was writing this same greeting one year ago, I wrote that at the beginning of 2020 nobody could foresee how the year would turnout. At the start of 2020 many of us, myself included, expected the World to return at least closer to “old normal”. But the pandemic with related restrictions and vaccine debates remain as daily discussion points. Those of us in China have been able to live almost normally most of the year, albeit I am sure everyone is looking forward to international travel being possible as soon as possible. Looking at the positive impacts of the pandemic here in China, perhaps one is that the Finnish business community has become closer during these two years. Also, FinnCham community continues to grow, we end the year having close to 60 corporate members. Once again, I want to welcome the new members on board and at the same time thank our existing members for the support!
China’s economic recovery during 2021 has been rapid. While the first half of the year produced double digit year-on-year growth numbers, they were foremost result of getting back to normal after a considerable slowdown the year before. In the third quarter GDP growth ended up just below 5 percent. For the whole year of 2021 World Bank in forecasting GDP growth of around 8 percent which comparing to the rest of the World is pretty remarkable. China’s fast recovery has been very visible to many of our members has well. Based on discussions, several Finnish companies have been recording even all time high sales numbers in China during the pandemic. Next year’s forecast for China Economy, however, predicts the growth to slowdown to about 5 percent. (For more information on World Bank forecast click here).
After almost two years of the pandemic era, 2021 seems to be ending with a positive note as regards to next year’s outlook. In the McKinsey Global Survey 60 percent of the respondents expect the economic conditions to improve in 2022. Not surprisingly respondents from Greater China (together with India and Asia-Pacific) in the survey viewed the domestic economic conditions most positive compared to six months ago. Similar optimism was shown in the business confidence survey by European Union Chamber of Commerce in China earlier this year: views on business outlook for coming two years were more positive than during six previous years (full survey report). The number one concern for global economy remains the same – the pandemic. The prolonging pandemic is starting to lead to “new” perceived main threats to the economy: For the first time since 2012 (when it was included to the survey) respondents saw inflation as a top two risk for global and domestic growth. (For more information see the Economic Conditions Snapshot, December 2021: McKinsey Global Survey results).
Looking at 2022 FinnCham together with whole Team Finland continue the work to support Finnish companies. It will be first full year for Ambassador Leena-Kaisa Mikkola in China and naturally we at FinnCham look forward to continue the great collaboration with her and the whole Team Finland network. Be sure to read Ambassador’s own greetings to the FinnCham community on this website as well!
With these words I want to wish you all Success and Prosperity for the year 2022 and the Year of the Tiger!
It is a great pleasure for me to greet the members of the Finnish Business Council in Beijing. I wish you all and your families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Year 2022!
A few extraordinary first months as Finland’s Ambassador to China have gone by quickly. After the long journey from Helsinki via Shanghai to Beijing due to the continuing quarantine requirements, time has flown by. At the outset of a new year, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on my first months in China, take stock of the year past, and plan for the year ahead.
Above all, I wish to thank everyone for the warm welcome I have received. Over the past three months, I have immersed myself in a new culture, met with a cross section of Chinese officials and business professionals, and had the pleasure of connecting with many of you in person. These connections have laid the foundation for the coming year as well.
In particular, I would like to thank the members of the Finnish Business Council in Beijing for the good cooperation that my entire team has enjoyed in 2021. The Council is one of the closest partners of the Embassy when it comes to promoting Finnish business interests in China. Together with the other members of the Team Finland China network, we have sought to ensure that Finnish companies are provided with the best possible conditions for making the most of the opportunities in the Chinese market.
Having said that, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced us as Team Finland actors to rethink the way we interact and promote our home country. I also know that the past two years have been challenging for many of you and the industries you represent. The pandemic has only reinforced the view that, in exceptional times, embassies have an important mission to assist Finnish citizens, to support decision-making in Finland and to identify market opportunities for Finnish companies. I want to thank our Team Finland partners in the execution of these efforts.
Going forward, we are currently finalizing the Team Finland China plan for 2022. The pandemic has taught us that we still need to do more in prioritizing action and managing big issues, such as climate change and digital transformation. The goals related to green growth and the digital transition, which are priorities for Finland, will also be comprehensively addressed in next year’s Team Finland plan.
Last but not least, it is good to be optimistic about the future. Bringing together the expertise of our entire Team Finland China network, we will continue to pursue our work for the benefit of Finland and Finnish businesses in the Chinese market.
Ambassador of Finland to China