Canadian Matthew Wood found his way to Helsinki just over two years ago, when he was urged by a friend to apply for a job at the American Chamber of Commerce in Helsinki. “It’s not the Nokia or the Finnish wife story. It’s the interesting job story,” he smiles.
Matthew works in the field of policy advocacy, paving the way for AmCham member companies. He recognizes a positive trend towards foreign direct investments in Finland, both on parliamentary and grass-root levels. “There’ s a definite change in the attitudes and the openness towards SME’s and individuals relocating to Finland,” he says. Matthew has a genuine passion for politics and he finds many Finns are alike. “I feel that people here are well-informed. They actually know what’s going on in their country.”
As an English speaker, Matthew finds living in Helsinki almost too easy with just the English language. “The waiter at McDonald’s speaks four languages,” he laughs and praises the linguistic abilities of Finns. As an example, he mentions applying for residency: everything needed for moving to Finland was possible to take care of in English.
Matthew has come to appreciate the size and scale of Helsinki. “You can walk across the whole city center in a half an hour,” he tells enthusiastically. “I cycle and walk everywhere, even in the night time. The city is safe, lit up and clean. Seriously, I could go on and on.” He continues about the upsides of Helsinki: “Probably the nicest thing is that it’s such a well-designed city. Everything just works.”
The only thing he misses is street food. “But the fact that that’s my biggest complaint about Helsinki is praise to the city’s leadership and the people here.”
Find out more about the Helsinki way of doing business here.
Matthew wood works in the Economic Policy Department of the American Chamber of Commerce in Finland. AmCham Finland, with its 270 member companies, has become an important part of the Finnish national innovation system by supporting the international growth of member companies. This is done by facilitating connections, shaping public policy and producing and delivering critical business information. One program example is ROI Finland, which started in co-operation with Greater Helsinki Promotion. It is designed to harness the know-how of the best investment experts around: those who manage current investments in Finland.