The goals of the Greater Bay Area initiative match well with the Finnish expertise. Helsinki Business Hub was in the front in Hong Kong with its’ partners presenting the possibilities that the area will provide for Nordic companies.
All eyes are looking into China and the business opportunities that the big growth of the country provides. One of the recent motions, that China has published, is the Greater Bay Area initiative, which has been much discussed also in Hong Kong.
– The Greater Bay Area framework agreement was signed in 2017 and now we are waiting the more concrete plans that should be published during this summer. There are eleven growth centres in the area. The idea is that these regions wouldn’t compete with each other, but would create a stronger economic area together. Together the nine cities of Guangdong province and Hong Kong and Macao count for 68 million people and output of USD 1.4 trillion. With the initiative, the assets of the different regions can be strengthened, the consul general of Finland in Hong Kong Jari Sinkari describes.
Need for Finnish expertise and solutions
Even the concrete plans are not yet ready, the business opportunities are already visible. Sinkari recommends that Finnish companies will explore these possibilities.
– Even we don’t know yet everything that the plans will include, some projects are already taking place. For instance, there will be several infrastructure schemes and when the region forms one economic area, there will be a need for smart mobility solutions. In the bigger area, there is also new kind of need for healthcare solutions, such as remote care. For all of these Finnish companies have already developed high-quality solutions, Sinkari says.
Helsinki Business Hub wanted to present the cooperation possibilities for the Finnish companies. That is why Helsinki Business Hub participated in organizing an event with Compass Innovation Alliance in Hong Kong.
– This event was a good opportunity for us to start concretely promote the business opportunities that the Greater Bay Area initiative provides for Finnish companies. In cooperation with Newco and the city of Helsinki we brought 3 Finnish startups to Hong Kong and they all felt that the event really gave them ideas for the future, Senior Business Advisor Xin Wang tells.
Improvements in cancer care with AI
One of the startups participating in the Hong Kong event was mVision, who also won the pitching competition at the event.
– I was very happy that Xin Wang invited us to this event. We learned a lot from the business environment and heard much about the Greater Bay Area initiative. This helped us to build our strategy and gave ideas on how we should enter this market in the future. We also met several investors and got many good contacts, Mahmudul Hasan the CEO of Mvision describes.
MVision is an artificial intelligence company working in medical imaging. The company is building a deep learning based solution for cancer treatment that does the imaging of the organs automatically in seconds instead of hours of manual drawing.
– Finland is an ideal location to develop our product. AI requires a lot of data and Finland has been collecting the cancer data since the 50’s. In addition, Finland has the world-class know-how on cancer, high-quality AI talent easily available and Helsinki has very supportive startup ecosystem, Hasan explains.
But the market for the mVision product is around the world. One of the key areas is China.
– In China, about 4 million people die of cancer annually. The cancer treatment is not at the same level as in Finland, where the practices have been developed for centuries. With our solution, we can improve the treatment to the same level as in Finland in much shorter time, Hasan tells.
Upcoming business opportunities
MVision is just one example of a Finnish company who would have many business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. When the concrete plans of the initiative are taking place, other health companies, smart mobility, education and construction companies should pay attention to Southern China.
– My recommendation for the Finnish companies is that, come and see yourself what is going on in here. Hong Kong is an easy place to start because here, for instance, the English language is not a problem. When the Greater Bay Area initiative will be implemented you can easily access the whole area from one city. Nordic Innovation House platform will be established soon, and lower the threshold for Finnish companies to establish in the area. Hong Kong is also a place that attracts capital, so investment opportunities shouldn’t be forgotten either, Sinkari remarks.