A high-tech hub and gateway to the European Market, the Helsinki region is a prime location for Chinese companies to establish Regional Headquarters
Beijing, China, 24 November 2017
23 November in Beijing, at the Ambassador’s Residence, Helsinki Business Hub, in cooperation with the Finnish Embassy and Finpro Invest in Finland, invited Chinese companies and entrepreneurs to explore the business and regional growth opportunities of Helsinki, Finland’s capital city. The Mayor of Helsinki City, along with Finnish officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Helsinki Business Hub and representatives from Chinese companies that have launched operations in Finland, shared their insights on the advantages Helsinki offers Chinese companies eager to tap regional growth opportunities in the European market.
Mayor of Helsinki City, Jan Vapaavuori, delivered the opening speech
China and Finland have enjoyed a continuously strengthening bilateral relationship reaching across public and private sectors. More than twenty pairs of sister cities, including Helsinki and Beijing established in 2006, have strengthened the nations’ cultural ties, while the launch of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ has further accelerated bilateral trade and investment. Finland is China’s third largest trading partner in the Nordic region, while China has been Finland’s biggest trading partner in Asia for 14 years, and the number of Chinese firms investing in Finland continues to increase, including from Chinese giants Tencent and Huawei. After beginning operations in Finland in 2008, Huawei opened its first R&D hub in Helsinki in 2012 as a launch pad to Europe.
Mayor Jan Vapaavuori told about Helsinki’s strengths.
Discussing Helsinki’s advantages for Chinese enterprises, Mayor of Helsinki City, Jan Vapaavuori, said: “With our strategic geographic position, talented workforce, and favorable business environment, Helsinki has become a leading global business and tech innovation hub. Helsinki is an ideal place for Chinese companies looking to expand to Europe as China continues to promote innovation and the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ for outbound investment.”
Helsinki’s core advantages including strategic location, skilled workforce and leadership in industries like ICT, life sciences and smart & clean tech, offer strategic opportunities for China’s many innovation focused firms. With over 80,000 professionals with advanced programming skills, a life sciences talent pool of 29,000 and an IT talent pool of 116,000, Helsinki boasts a highly skilled workforce with niche skills. Located on the border between Russia and Europe, Helsinki also offers international accessibility; it is the shortest route between Asia and Europe, and at least only an 8-hour flight to both Beijing and New York. Clean, stable and secure, Finland’s easy business environment and thriving business community make it an ideal place to start a business and serve as the location for regional headquarters.
“What makes Finland interesting to Chinese companies is its potential as a high-tech innovation hub and as a gateway to the European market,” said CEO of Helsinki Business Hub, Dr. Marja-Liisa Niinikoski. ”Our focus is on enabling foreign companies to establish their businesses, and innovation driven companies to grow and develop in the Helsinki region. This we do by providing the right information and contacts, and by designing growth opportunities for our customers. Looking to the future, we hope to welcome more Chinese companies to manage their overall European operations from Finland as the location of their Regional Headquarters.”
Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, CEO of Helsinki Business Hub (third from the left) with company representatives.
Helsinki Business Hub, the regional development agency for the Finnish capital region, helps foreign companies considering establishing operations in the region with a suit of market access and business solutions. Helsinki Business Hub provides information resources as well as matchmaking services to help foreign companies understand the Finnish business ecosystem and connect with the right business partners, free of charge. It also helps foreign companies identify the right growth opportunities for their business, such as R&D, manufacturing or Regional Headquarters, as well as connect with relevant public financing entities. A dedicated Chinese language service has also been launched to support the growing number of Chinese companies interested in establishing operations in Finland.
Investing in Finland and the Helsinki region has opened doors for Chinese companies across tech, manufacturing and ICT sectors, “As an innovation and tech hub, Finland offers great opportunities for Chinese companies,” commented Wang Yuhang, Vice President of China CAMC Engineering Co., which has a presence in Helsinki. “We’ve not only found great partnerships with innovative Finnish firms, we’ve also found many new business opportunities with greater access to the European market. It’s also a great place to live.”
“Innovation is a key focus of both Finland and China. As a full-life entrepreneurship service company, we’re riding on this synergy to help outstanding Helsinki startups better access the Greater China market,” said Leo Zhu, CEO of Comb+. ” With the support of Helsinki Business Hub we’ve established a presence in Helsinki and are now developing programs to help Helsinki companies gain a better understanding of China’s business environment. It’s a win-win relationship.”