7.7.2017

Finnish-Canadian Business Club: Meeting with Mr Vesa Lehtonen, the Finnish Ambassdor to Canada on 25th August 2017

 

INVITATION                                                                                                             7th July  2017

Dear Sir/Madam

The Finnish-Canadian Business Club (FCBC) has the pleasure to invite you to a morning session with Mr Vesa Lehtonen, the Finnish Ambassador to Canada.

Time           Friday, 25th August 2017, starting at 9.30 o’clock with a morning coffee (presentation at 10 o’clock)

Place           World Trade Center Helsinki, Room “Tase”, Aleksanterinkatu 17, 2nd floor

Programme

Views on the economic and political environment in Canada from the Finnish perspective                             Vesa Lehtonen, Finnish Ambassador to Canada

Discussion

Registration by 23th August 2017 using this link: https://www.lyyti.in/Morning_coffee_with_Vesa_Lehtonen_Ambassador_of_Finland_to_Canada_8615

We will charge 25 euros for the morning coffee after the event.

Welcome!

THE FINNISH – CANADIAN BUSINESS CLUB RY.

Mr. Kenneth Wrede Chairman of FCBC

 

3.7.2017

Canadian economy showing encouraging signs, says Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins

With the adjustment to lower oil prices largely behind us, there are encouraging signs that growth is broadening across regions and sectors, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn A. Wilkins told the Associates of the Asper School of Business in a speech today.

Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins discussed how having more broad-based economic growth makes it more likely that it will be sustainable over the medium term. This is the horizon Bank of Canada policy-makers consider as they set policy to achieve the Bank’s 2 per cent inflation target.

“While broad-based growth is desirable, it’s not under the direct control of monetary policy, and it’s not our objective. We target a 2 per cent inflation rate,” she said.

Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins focused on diversity in sources of growth from three perspectives: progress made in adjusting to lower oil prices, the range of industries that are growing and the evolution of the labour market.

One sign of progress in adjusting to lower oil prices is the bounce-back in capital expenditures in the oil and gas sector, which is helping to underpin renewed growth in business investment. Another comes from rising consumer demand in energy-intensive provinces. And Bank of Canada models also point to a broadening in provincial activity this year, reinforcing recent results in the Bank’s Business Outlook Survey.

“What’s encouraging is that this growth is not being driven by just a few key industries,” Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins said. The data show that more than 70 per cent of industries have been expanding and the labour market continues to improve.

However, slack in the economy is still translating into below-target inflation, Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins said, and risks to the outlook remain.

To meet its inflation objective, the Bank must consider not only current economic conditions, but also how they will evolve, she said.

“If you saw a stop light ahead, you would begin letting up on the gas to slow down smoothly,” said Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins. “You don’t want to have to slam on the brakes at the last second. Monetary policy must also anticipate the road ahead.”

Source: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2017/06/canadian-economy-showing-encouraging-signs/

1.6.2017

Interview with Matthew Roblin – Ties between Finland and Canada.

Originally from Aurora, Ontario, Canada (about 40km north of Toronto), Matthew now resides in Finland. Through his personal experiences and take on Finnish culture, environment, unique education system, and way of life, he’s discovers the uniqueness of Finland unlike any other. As a Canadian, he feels that there’s a special bond between Canada and Finland and explains why he considers there to be potentially very ideal enterprise business partnership opportunities for both countries looking to seek growth and establish strong relationship ties between the two.

Matthew studies in Finland and will be soon to be a graduate from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Porvoo Campus, with a degree in Tourism, specialization in corporate travel & meeting management. Throughout his studies, he has worked in organisations for The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) as a travel assistant, a project assistant for ToolBox-Travel Marketing & Consulting, and also with his close knit class conducted research projects for real companies throughout his degree programme. Matthew is someone who loves to share his ideas, experiences and is a hungry learner. His time living in Finland has truly helped shape who he is today and is grateful to have had the experiences while living in Finland and more to come.

Here’s an interview with Matthew…

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Canada and grew up in Aurora, Ontario, a town about 40km north of Toronto. Like many others from that region, i’m a second generation Canadian. My mother is from Northern Ireland, which makes me a duel Irish/Canadian citizen, although I do consider myself more Canadian than anything else. Having two passports certainly helps me get around though!

How long have you lived in Finland and how long are you planning to stay?

I’ve lived in Finland for 4 years now and I intend to stay here. Canada will always be home, but right now i’m quite content and would like to establish more here in Finland. However of course, I am alway open to opportunities abroad.

Why did you move to Finland and what do you do?

Going back 6 years ago, I had met my Finnish girlfriend Hanna-Riikka (now fiancé) while living in Australia. Initially, we met in Brisbane and had been there for a year, then decided to take things a little further and live in my hometown in Canada. After a year spent there, we then decided that it was best for us to move to Finland and apply to university.

While my fiancé is studying for a 3,5yr degree programme in Aviation Business at the same school that I had studied at. I’m currently a student and soon to graduate as of June, 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism, specialization in corporate travel & meeting management from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Porvoo Campus. Though not limited to, I am looking to join international companies to work in areas such as marketing, sales and development.

On the side I also do freelancing, working with digital marketing such as SEO, content generation, web content layout and more.

Why did you study in Finland and how would you describe your study experience?

This is a topic that I enjoy telling people about as I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to have the opportunity to undergo such an educational experience. Although studying in Finland wasn’t the main reason why I moved, Finland is internationally well known for high quality education and innovational learning. Equality is the most important word in Finnish education. I loved the fact that there was no feeling of hierarchy and that each student brings something unique into the learning environment, each taken personally. You have the freedom to create and think outside the box while in very practical way. Teachers don’t necessarily give you the answers but rather help to find the solution, create the framework, and together create the knowledge.

At my school’s campus in particular, we conducted various research projects commissioned by real companies and worked closely with them. We as students were the ones designing our own framework and collaboration for the projects. We learn valuable skills that are most relevant today and important for the future workplace. Our focus was emphasized on extensive team work collaboration, self-leadership, self-management, and inquiry learning.

Another important aspect i’d like to mention is the learning environment that was at my school. The building facility and classrooms are very transparent, there are no basic dull coloured 4 walled rooms, but rather an open glass room concept where students can see what everyone is doing (including teachers). I would say that this sort of environment actually brought more productivity and less anxiety to students than what you’d maybe assume is a place where you’d get more distracted because of its openness and relaxed atmosphere, but this is not the case. Furniture was always moveable and we always had access to meeting rooms when our teams wanted to get down to work or present something.

(Click the video link below to find out more about Haaga-Helia, Porvoo Campus creative learning)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONSKhHuHu40

To organizations interested, partnerships are possible for commissioned projects as well as recruitment of interns to your company during and or after the degree programme studies.

How do you find Finnish lifestyle and cultural ways? What are some similarities between Canadians and Finns?

When people ask me this sort of question I always say, well Finland just reminds me of home in some ways, so I feel like i’ve adapted well here. We both love our ice hockey, we have neighbors that we have to put up with, and we both have to deal with the freezing cold and snow six months of the year!

Especially central Finland, such as Jyväskylä area, It looks so similar to our environment if you were to drive a couple hours north of Toronto. We also have many lakes, tons of trees, similar wildlife like moose, and summer cottages to escape to in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, the only thing Canadians miss out on is sauna and delicious home cooked seasonal traditional Finnish foods. But when we talk about social culture, it’s a little different and it’s taken me awhile to get used to. Of course, this is been apart of my own personal experience though.

In some ways, Canada has many similarities, but on the other hand Finland is, well, very Finnish… Bare in mind that Canada has adapted to a lot more immigration for a much longer period of time than that of Finland which is still yet very traditional in so many ways, like many other european countries.

I’ve learnt that Finns really appreciate their national traditions and embrace their strong cultural identity and own ways. They do what’s best for their people. Certainly not a bad thing, in fact this is something I’ve learnt to appreciate and respect and i’d say is one of the reasons why Finland has such an economically stable, safe and clean environment. I consider Finns to be very structured people, they are highly collaborative by doing most things in teams, they stand strongly for equality and highly value trust in others.

In away, this also relates to business culture. I find that our level of connection between a Canadian and a Finn is that in characteristics, we are both very humble, modest by nature and prefer to be more quieter or reserved when in social settings, (Although, Finns tend to be a little more reserved than Canadians, at least in the beginning…).

How would you describe the difference in the way Finns and Canadians communicate in business?

In business communication, I would say that Finns and are actually very closely related in how we behave and do business. For example, like Finns, Canadians often display characteristics of having a combination of being formally spoken, courteous, compromising, good listening, factual, and decisive planners. As the stereotype has it, we can be seen as overall polite and friendly, and slightly more reserved than our southern neighbours.

One thing that I found quite interesting from my studies in university is the ‘The Lewis Model of Cultural Types’ and as you can see from the image below, Finns are actually quite close to Canadians on the diagram model.

What are some characteristics of Canadian business etiquette and behavior?

Canadian business people are more conservative in manner and in speech and dress attire. Business customs are similar to that in the U.K or the U.S, but etiquette is important. Also, Canadians do not like to be mistaken for Americans and this this can be offensive. Canada is a distinct country with its own unique history, culture, and characteristics.

Here are a few points on business culture characteristics:

  • People do not have authority simply based on their name, status, social class or gender. But rather a person’s authority is related to his/her position and responsibility.
  • Canadians honor commitments and value those who do what you say you will do.
  • Be open and friendly in your conversation. If you are naturally reserved in your behavior, you will appear confident and credible. If your natural tendency is to have a lot of arm gestures, try to restrain yourself when meeting and talking with Canadians. French Canadians tend to be more laid back in this respect.
  • Give firm handshakes with eye contact. Men will usually wait for a woman to extend her hand for a handshake.
  • Personal space and body movement or gestures vary between the English speaking and the French speaking provinces and cities. In English speaking areas, body movement and contact is usually minimal. Distance between others should be about two feet (24”). However, French Canadians tend to be more expressive with gestures and stand closer together.
  • Loud conversations are generally frowned upon.
  • When meeting, gifts are not routinely given. However, gifts are often given to celebrate finalizing a project, contract, or negotiation. An appropriate gift could be bottle of wine, or liquor.

Why do you consider Canada as a good opportunity for Finnish enterprises to seek partnership opportunities or vise versa?

Finland and Canada have many things in common, such as shared values, it’s northern climate, highly educated population, economical and political stability and even similar mentalities as mentioned previously. Finland is also known and highly regarded in Canada. In fact, there’s even a large number of Finns and Finnish communities living Canada, especially in Ontario.

I mentioned that Canadians are also very collaborative people. We value building relationships and in a cross-culturally context. As a Canadian, I can honestly say that we warmly welcome internationals in Canada and we strive at building ties between others. Whether it be business partners, immigrants or tourists visiting. Canada is truly a place of diversity and prosperity in many aspects.

There is plenty of opportunity for foreign investment, especially for Finnish enterprises interested in seeking partnerships. There is especially a need for innovation and technology and a need for trade between for Finnish know-how on several sectors in Canada, such as forest technology, bioenergy and environmental technology, Arctic know-how and of course travel trade (my personal interest and educational background).

With the findings below, these facts stand as good reasons for enterprises investing and looking to create business partnership.

According to International.gc.ca, here is why Canada would be a good business partner for enterprise companies.

  • A business environment that’s welcoming According to Forbes, Canada is the best country in the G20 to do business with. Source: Forbes.
  • A strong growth record Canada has led all G7 countries in economic growth over the past decade (2006–2015). Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Strong market Access Due to CETA taking place, foreign investors in Canada will have assured preferential access to both EU and NAFTA – a market with combines GDP of nearly US$37 trillion, or nearly one-half of global output of goods and services. Source: The World Bank
  • Highly educated workforce  Canada’s workforce is is one of the most highly educated among members of the OECD. Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Low business tax costs  Tax costs in Canada are one of the lowest in the G7 and 46% lower than those in the US. Source: KPMG
  • Financial stability Canada’s banking system is one of the soundest in the world Source: World Economic Forum
  • A great place to invest, work and live One of the most multicultural diverse countries in the world, renowned universities, universal health care system, safe, clean and friendly cities. High standard of living. Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

If you could give brief advice, things to do, or personal insight for Finns moving to Canada or for Canadians moving to Finland, what would it be?

For Canadians:

Well for Canadians visiting or moving to Finland, i’d say embrace Finland for what it is. Finns are known to be reserved, but they’re not rude. You’ll discover that they are actually very nice, genuine and honest people. Everything in Finland works very efficiently and is properly done in an orderly way. From my personal experience living here, the bureaucracy of things can be a little frustrating but it’s also explains why things are so formal and secure here.

What to do: Enjoy a steamy sauna. Remember, sauna is a finnish word and invention! It’s simply a must-do while in Finland as it’s the favourite pastime for Finns to relax after a hard day’s work.

Many workplaces in Finland have private sauna for employees to use and relax in. A healthy work life balance is indeed valued here. So while you are visiting for business, It’s common to be invited to have sauna and drinks afterwards. It’s simply a part of Finnish non-mandatory costumes!

Also, try Finnish foods, especially things that come out only at a special time of the year. My personal favorite is Christmas foods or Finnish “street foods” like Muikku (a small bodied white fish) usually pan-fried or smoked. It can be in a soup, have with potatoes and herbs or eaten by themselves like you’d eat fish’n’chips in a small tray on a warm summer’s day. Do try Finnish cold smoked salmon “kylmäsavulohi” it’s to die for!

Another piece of insight while in Finland, learning the language is extremely difficult but certainly is an advantage and with it you understand the culture better. But just about every Finn speaks and understands English quite fluently, even if they’re shy to use it. For the most part, English is also the common language used in the workplace. So to sum it up, embrace the peaceful nature, traditional foods and relaxing sauna!

For Finns:

As for Finns visiting or moving to Canada, well, be prepared to be asked if you like ice hockey and asked how much snow you get in the winter, as if it’s a competition! Whenever people in Canada meet for the first time, there’s often the inevitable conversation where someone asks where they’re from and there’s always the unquestioned acceptance of cultural difference. It’s quite rare someone would feel defensive about their background or be annoyed if having a difficult name to pronounce. In fact, as a Canadian watching so much ice hockey on tv, when we see any last name usually ending with ‘nen’ such as Salminen, we’d probably ask in excitement, ‘hey! Is that a Finnish last name?!’ It’s true that Canadians love to meet others from around the world and welcome you warmly.

Being a Finn, you should also have no problems with coffee consumption as Canadians will tell you that they are the ultimate coffee fanatics, but you can prove them wrong! You’ll get to know our “on-the-go” coffee shop brand named Tim Hortans. It’s kind of become apart of Canadian identity. Canadians are generally quite friendly and easy going, so making networks and friends should be easy and likely to establish some genuine personal and good work relationships. Our climate and weather is very similar (unless you’re in Vancouver where it’s more mild), so no problems adjusting there!

As for business culture (mentioned previously) we do have many similarities based on the similar values, etiquette and behavior. So, another reason for strong ties and connection between us.

Now that you’re graduating from University, what are your future plan?

I mentioned previously that I live here with my fiancé who’s Finnish and also undergoing her bachelor studies. My partner and I are always open to different opportunities. However, right now I intend to stay in Finland. Though not limited to, I am looking to join international companies to work in areas such as marketing, sales, and development.

How can you be contacted for further advice or enquiries?

I’d be more than happy to connect. Best way is by email or phone and of course I’d love to connect with them on Linkedin.

You can reach me at:

Email: connect.mroblin@gmail.com

Phone: +358 44 242-0914

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-roblin-960ba07b/

Thank you for the opportunity to write for FINNCHAM – Kauppayhdistykset – Trade Associations

Matthew Roblin participated a meeting of the Finnish-Canadian Business Club.

26.5.2017

An Interview with the Embassy’s Trade Counsellor, Jarno Valkeapää

Jarno Valkeapää works as the Trade Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland in Ottawa. We talked to Jarno about his first year in Ottawa and his work connecting Finnish companies to business opportunities in Canada.

Photo by: Samuel Tessier, Quebec
Jarno
Our Energies in Action, seminar in Quebec City February 2017

First of all, how did you end up at the Embassy of Finland, Ottawa?

Prior to joining the Embassy I was employed at Finpro (Finnish Trade Promotion Company), and at the time Finpro and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were finding ways to collaborate more closely. They were advertising new positions in the Ministry called Team Finland Special Advisors which were created to fill in some of the areas that Finpro is not present. As soon as I heard the word ”Canada”, I knew it was a job that I had to apply to. So really, the timing was right and the job requirements for this type of job fit my background because I knew the Finnish companies and industries.

How has the first year been in at this job and in Canada?

Well, in February 2016 when they called and asked if I would be interested in the job, the position was already supposed to start on January 1st, so there was a lot to catch up on. So the first year has been very hectic with a lot of new things to learn about – which I’ve enjoyed a lot and it has been a positive experience. I’m tasked with helping Finnish SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) to find business opportunities in Canada and to be a kind of door opener who can facilitate the necessary connections. My objective is clear, it’s just a matter of learning how and where to develop these connections in Canada. To do so, I have been working together with my Finnish counterparts and the Embassy staff here in Ottawa.

What do you think is the most rewarding and challenging thing in this new position?

What has been most rewarding is the feedback I have received. Canadians have said to me that they now know how to contact Finnish businesses, so as the word has spread I have been getting more jobs. That is rewarding, but the ultimate reward is that Finnish businesses either expands their businesses to Canada or at least start seriously looking into the Canadian market. These rewards won’t be seen for a couple of years as it takes time to establish in a new market, but when I see a Finnish company be successful in Canada then I know I’ve done my job.
The first word that comes to my mind in terms of the challenging part is ”focusing”. The scale of things in Canada, and the size of the country is something you only realize once you are here. There is a lot of time spent travelling and you need to build separate networks across provinces due to the differences between them. There is a lot going on and many different opportunities and it can be challenging to know where to focus your energy. From a business perspective the best plan is to try to pick the low-hanging fruit. I think this will be easier once we build a more comprehensive network.

What do you see as the most promising industries for Finnish companies in the Canadian market?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that in Canada they needed someone with Arctic knowledge as they see it as an opportunity for Finnish companies, specifically in the Forestry and the bioproduct industry. So that focus area really fits within my background since I’m trained as a forester and I’ve been helping similar companies in Finland. Two other main areas I’ve been focusing on during my first year in Canada are the mining and maritime industries. Canadian mining companies have invested a lot in Finland and they know the Finnish technology, so Finnish companies already have a good reputation here. So there’s potential for investment in Finnish mining technologies in Canada. In terms of the maritime industry, some Finnish companies are already established in Canada and they know their counterparts.
I think there are a couple of industries with a lot of potential in Canada for Finnish businesses. In Finland there are many remote areas – although not as remote as they are here in Canada –and we have established good eLearning and eHealth services. This could be used to improve services in remote towns and indigenous communities in Canada. In order to use these services telecommunication infrastructure is needed and that is another business opportunity I see for Finnish companies.

How would you describe a typical day at work in the embassy?

My day kind of works in two shifts, there’s the Finnish shift and the Canadian shift. When I wake up at home I generally check my emails and do some quick answers because it’s already the afternoon in Finland so if I sent something yesterday afternoon they may have already replied. So in the morning I usually work with the Finnish end and the Canadian shift begins after that. My typical day involves many phone calls to Canadian and Finnish counterparts and some meetings here at the embassy. It’s very non-structured and there’s often something popping-up that you don’t plan for every day. Sometimes it’s stressful, but it fits me well.

Do you have some form of long-term plan or something you want to achieve within the next couple of years?

That’s a good question because I still feel like I’ve just started here. Presently my term is until the end of 2018, and if I leave then, the plan would be to have what I’ve started continue after me. There is a need for this kind of mediator between Canadian businesses and organizations and their Finnish counterparts, so my long-term plan is to see that the connections made can carry on. I don’t know what my future holds but I am focused wholeheartedly on creating a strong network of Canadian and Finnish businesses.

What are your interests outside of work?

I would love to explore more of the Canadian nature, but I never seem to have much time to do so. But to handle this kind of job you need something outside of work and that would be sports and the outdoors for me. I’ve enjoyed the nearby Gatineau Park and its skiing opportunities last winter. I have a bit of a dilemma being in Canada because there’s so much beautiful nature to explore but I’ve hardly had any time to enjoy it yet. A part of what I enjoy about being out in nature is that it allows me to be disconnected. My family also keeps me very busy and detached from work.  Over the past year I’ve also become a bit of an Ottawa Senators fan and I’ve enjoyed their journey to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Lähde: http://finland.ca/public/default.aspx?contentid=362373&nodeid=41324&culture=en-US

26.5.2017

Kanadan kokemuksia – Elämänkoulua Torontossa


Yhteenvetoa ja tuntemuksia

Kirjoittelen tätä 17.5., jolloin on luvattu todella lämmintä säätä. Nyt on mittarissa 29 astetta. Poikkeuksellisen viileä huhti-toukokuu ollut tänä vuonna ainakin täällä Torontossa, Suomessa ja USA:nkin puolella. Säillehän emme voi mitään niin että niihin sopeudutaan. Täytyy myöntää, että kyllä hyppääminen kuukaudeksi toiseen kulttuuriin on omalla tavallaan haastavaa. Harjoittelupaikastani Suomi-kodista jäi mieleen monikulttuurisuus ja kolmen kielen (suomi, englanti, viro) käyttö asukkaiden kanssa. Lisäksi hoitajat tuovat mukanaan muita kieliä ja ruokakulttuureja. Kiitettävästi he pyrkivät käyttämään suomea, mutta toki kielen vivahteet jäävät ymmärtämättä. Useimmat asukkaat osaavat englantia, mutta monesti kieli on kahden kielen sekamelskaa. Kun vastaan tulee vapaaehtoinen, omainen tai muu vierailija, täytyy aina vähän testata, mikä olisi yhteinen kieli. Suhtautuminen Suomeen on useimmilla melkeinpä ihannoivaa, vaikka toisaalta ikäihmiset sanovatkin, että elämä on Kanadassa, monella lapset ja ystävät täällä, joten muutto Suomeen ei enää pitkään aikaan ole ollut mielessä. Täytyy sanoa, että rohkeita ovat olleet ne, jotka ovat Suomesta aikanaan lähteneet vailla tietoa työpaikasta ja asunnosta, osaamatta englantia. On se vaatinut aikamoista sopeutumista. Monet ovat löytäneet puolisonsa suomalaisten joukosta. Yhteiset vapaa-ajan riennot suomalaisten kanssa ovat olleet todella tärkeitä. Ja vieläkin Suomi-kotiin on pitkä jono, monet haaveilevat viettävänsä elämän viime vuodet suomalaisten joukossa. Itsekin huomasi, että pelkkä kaupassa käynti on haasteellista, mitä on myynnissä ja mistä löytyy. Isossa kaupungissa pyörii välillä kuin Liisa Ihmemaassa – varmaan tuntuvat tämän jälkeen helpoilta Kangasalan nähtävyydet ja kauppareissut Tampereellekin. Yleensä voi isossa kaupungissa varata aina tunnin aikaa kun matkaa 15 km julkisilla kulkuvälineillä, jos pitää vaihtaa kulkuvälinettä välillä.

Keskustelin vapaaehtoistoiminnasta Suomi-kodissa ja sairaaloissa. Täytyy sanoa, että Kanadassa todella ammattimaisesti satsataan siihen, että esim. kouluissa, hoitokodeissa ja sairaaloissa organisoidaan toimintaa osittain vapaaehtoisten varaan. Myös koululaiset opetetaan nuoresta pitäen kantamaan kortensa kekoon. Monenlaiset hienot juhlat saadaan aikaiseksi talkoovoimin ja nuoret ovat mukana mm. laulamassa tai soittamassa. Työpäivät alkoivat aamuvuorossa Suomi-kodissa jo klo 6:30. Herätys klo 5, kahdella bussilla töihin ja puuhaa sopivasti niin että iltapäivällä oli joskus aika valmis olo.

Olin mukana paikallisen leijonaklubin Toronto Finlandian kokouksessa. Viisi vuotta sitten olimme Torontossa Kangasalan ryhmän kanssa ja se käynti oli niin mielenkiintoinen että tiesin palaavani takaisin joskus. Täytyy myöntää, että Kanada on maana niin suuri alueeltaan ja monipuolinen ja monikulttuurinen, että täällä saa kuukaudessa käytyä elämänkoulua monelta kannalta. Voitin arpajaisissa hienon kukan, joka jäi Torontoon ilahduttamaan isäntäperhettäni. Kokouksen aluksi laulettiin säkeistö Maamme laulusta ja O Kanada – kansallislaulusta.

Kävin katsomassa amerikkalaisen Strictly Ballroom musikaaliesityksen, jossa ei puuttunut vauhtia ja näyttävyyttä. Perjantaina olimme syömässä paikallisen liike-elämän keskuksessa Dundas Squarella ulkona terassilla (lämpölamppujen loisteessa). Senator Jazz Bistrossa oli kiva tunnelma ja olis viihtynyt pidempäänkin, mutta soittajat lopettivat klo 23. Lauantain vierailu Aga Ghan museossa jäi mieleen valoisuudellaan, hienoilla materiaaleillaan ja erilaisen kulttuurin leimallaan. Chinatown illalla tarjosi erilaisen makuelämyksen eli täältä ei tarvitse matkustaa Kiinaan kokeakseen palan maan ruoka- ja asumiskulttuuria. Edwards Garden on yksi Toronton suurista puistoista, missä oli kukassa mm. tulppaanit ja koristeomenapuut hienoine punaisine kukkineen. Äitienpäivää juhlittiin Suomi-kodissa ja isäntäperheessä perinteisin suomalaisin menoin keskellä Torontoa.

Maanantaina oli viimeinen aamuvuoro Suomi-kodissa ja jätin mielessäni hyvästejä vanhuksille, jotka elämänsä ehtoota siellä viettävät. Muutamien kanssa tuli käytyä mielenkiintoisia keskusteluja. Suomi on mielessä, mutta kaukana. Vierailuja synnyinmaassa muisteltiin ja se tuntui olevan loukkaavaa, jos Kanadassa asuvia sanotaan Suomessa amerikkalaisiksi. He ovat kanadalaisia ja ylpeitä siitä. Olin luvannut muutamille asukkaille tehdä karjalanpiirakoita läksiäisiin ja sehän oli sitten tehtävä. Haaste oli löytää oikeita riisejä puuroon kaupasta ja ruisjauhojen käytöstä oli luovuttava, kun niitä ei paikallisessa kaupassa ollut. Mutta hyvin maistuivat kokojyvävehnästäkin tehdyt piirakat. Läksiäiset tiistaina olivat kivat. Katselimme aluksi Suomi-Kanada jääkiekko-ottelua tv:stä (tulos 2-5) ja lauloimme ja puheiden jälkeen nautimme tarjoilusta. Haikeat jäähyväiset tuli jätettyä vanhuksille ja työkavereille. Koskaan ei tiedä, ketä vielä joskus tapaa…

Lähde: http://www.kangasalansanomat.fi/blogi/kanadan-kokemuksia/

Kirjoittaja: Eevaliisa Pentti, Villa Sten Oy, hoivakodin toimitusjohtaja, villasten.fi

10.5.2017

Annual General Meeting of the Finnish-Canadian Business Club

The Annual General Meeting of the Finnish-Canadian Business Club took place at Fondia Oyj on 27th April 2017.

After the Annual General Meeting the FCBC was honored to welcome Ms Sara Leclerc, Senior Legal Counsel to address the meeting. The topic of her speech was: Innovations in the Legal Industry, the Fondia Story.

Fondia Oyj is a full service law office which combines the benefits of in-house and outsourced legal services. Fondia Oyj has been recognized by the Financial Times as “Most Innovative Law Firm” in 2013 and again in 2015 as a European “Game Changer” for its approach to providing legal services to businesses. Please, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn55uCnqpS8 and www.fondia.com to learn more about Fondia Oyj.

20.3.2017

Canada Goose shares jump on stock market debut

The high-end parka maker – Canada Goose – is proving as popular with investors as it is with celebrities.

The company, which makes coyote fur-lined jackets, some of which sell for £900 each, has started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as on Canada’s main exchange.

In early trading, shares were more than 40% higher at $18.14.

Founded in Toronto 60 years ago, the company was bought by the private equity group Bain Capital in 2013.

The firm had priced its initial public offering at $12.78 per share.

Read more here.

15.2.2017

CETA: MEPs back EU-Canada trade agreement

PLENARY SESSION Press release – External/international trade − 15-02-2017 – 12:41

CETA vote result© EU 2017 – EP

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, was approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday. The landmark trade deal could apply provisionally from as early as April 2017.

Read more:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170209IPR61728/ceta-meps-back-eu-canada-trade-agreement

http://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/campaign-campagne/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/

 

22.12.2016

Chrstmas Luncheon and miniseminar

christmas-lunch-20-12-2016During our luncheon on Dec 20, Canadian Senior Trade Commissioner Francis Uy discussed Canada-Finland linkages and provided an overview of the Embassy’s proposed activities and key initiatives for next year.  These included: the triple-jubilee events (Finland’s 100th, Canada’s 150th and 70 years of diplomatic relations), CETA ratification and implementation, Arctic Issues and Climate Change Advocacy.  He also provided an overview of the role of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.  It looks to be a busy 2017!!!

 

2.12.2016

What does CETA mean for Trade ?

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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, The Embassy of Canada and the Finnish-Canadian Business Club organized the CETA Business Seminar on Tuesday 29th November 2016.

CETA will be the most modern trade agreement so far.

The main benefits which businesses will gain through the CETA will be lower tariffs and customs fees. The EU tariff lines will become duty free due to the CETA agreement.

CETA trade agreement will not only be beneficial for the large companies but also for the SME’s as SMEs can import goods with much lower prices.

According to the EU the following things can be gained from free trade agreements: growth generation and jobs, lower prices, having greater choice of consumers, get an access to public contracts and innovation is more protected.

In addition to this CETA companies can avoid  double testing.  This will give  companies a free access to the EU or the Canadian side. CETA will also give a high level of protection of investments.

When it comes to trade agreements everybody usually focuses only on exporting. However importation of products and services is equally important; making things better for consumers since they will have more purchasing power.

Importing is also positive and should not be forgotten. After the Korea free trade agreement came into force Finland’s exports has increased by 30 %.

Canada offers a market with 500 million consumers

The Canadian economy has stayed fairly flat and stable in the past few years. Canada has 3.5 million business and most of those are companies of one employee.
1.1 million of the Canadian businesses are paying salaries to employees. SME’s cover quarter of the exports of Canada.

All political parties support trade agreements in Canada. However labor unions remain opposed. The main concerns now are the increasing protectionism in different countries.

If TTIP will not come true Canada can be the access to North-American markets. By entering to the North-American markets businesses can have the market of over 500 million consumers – almost as large as the EU market.

Challenges Canadian business face are that the value of the Canadian dollar is dropping fast, cost of shipping, high tariffs and duties and trade complexity paper work. Also Canada is still heavily dependent on the US market.

Finland – Canada – potential to increase business

Finland and Canada have a good start point for trade relations. Canada and Finland have various similarities for example arctic climate, both have lots of forests and snow know-how. These are good start for a collaboration and finding business partners. Therefore there are plenty of potential of increasing trade and services between Finland and Canada. This means big opportunities for both sides. Especially beneficial for Finnish businesses is that the Canadian procurement market will come available for the Finnish businesses when CETA comes into force. The trade between Finland and Canada is now worth of 1 billion US dollars.

Tips for companies regarding the CETA is to start follow the public procurement announcements. For small business: use associations and trade organizations, government partners and understand the opportunities.

More information about the CETA agreement from these websites:
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/
http://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/campaign-campagne/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng

Read more about The Finnish-Canadian Business Club here.

2.11.2016

11th Fennoscandian Exploration and Mining (FEM 2017), Canada

FEM 2017 will take place on 31 October – 2 November 2017 in Levi, Lapland, Finland

FEM Conference, founded in 1998, is one of the largest and most significant mineral industry events in Europe. The event brings together exploration and mining industry experts and leaders worldwide. We are expecting again over 1000 participants in 2017.

Who should attend?

The conference gives an opportunity for people from exploration, mining, academia, investors, governments, geological surveys, and the service sector to meet and network in pleasant surroundings.

FEM includes world-class presentations by invited speakers, pre-conference short courses, a trade show, and excursions.

The conference venue is located in the most active mining area in Europe and you will be able to visit one of the operating mines during the excursions. The Fennoscandian Shield offers great potential for new discoveries!

Enjoy the company of your colleagues and customers and become inspired by the FEM atmosphere!

FEM 2017 Organizers

1.11.2016

Canada and EU sign historic trade agreement during EU-Canada Summit

Canada is committed to deepening trade and investment links with new and traditional partners. Negotiating trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), will benefit Canadians, create new job opportunities, and help to grow the middle class and those working hard to join it.

In keeping with these objectives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, together with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, signed CETA during today’s European Union-Canada Leaders’ Summit.

CETA is a modern, progressive trade agreement that, when implemented, will generate billions of dollars in bilateral trade and investment, provide greater choice and lower prices to consumers, and create middle class jobs in many sectors on both sides of the Atlantic. Both Canada and the EU are committed to bringing CETA into force as soon as possible.

The leaders also signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which will enhance cooperation in important areas such as energy, environment and climate change, migration and peaceful pluralism, counter-terrorism and international peace and security, and effective multilateralism.

CETA is the product of hard work, frank negotiations, and a common commitment – by the Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade, and countless Canadian public servants – to a strong Canada-EU partnership.

Quotes

“The signing of CETA is a historic occasion. This modern and progressive agreement will reinforce the strong links between Canada and the EU, and create vast new opportunities for Canadians and Europeans alike—opening new markets for our exporters, offering more choices and better prices to consumers, and forging stronger ties between our economies.” – Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The Canada-EU partnership is based on shared values, a long history of close cooperation, and strong people-to-people ties. The signing of CETA and the SPA sets the stage for even deeper relations in the future which will bolster the middle class on both sides of the Atlantic.” – Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“CETA will offer significant benefits for most sectors of the Canadian economy, from fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, to aerospace workers in Quebec, and from people assembling automobiles in Ontario, to forest industry workers in British Columbia to miners in the Northwest Territories.” Rt. Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In addition, the leaders issued a joint statement following the Summit that outlines commitments and key areas of focus for Canada and the EU in coming years. The statement focused on shared values and interests including peace, democracy, prosperity, protection of human rights, rule of law, environment, inclusion and cultural diversity.
  • CETA will provide Canada with access to the EU’s more than 500 million consumers. Canadian workers throughout the country stand to benefit significantly from increased access to this 28 country market which generates $20 trillion in annual economic activity.
  • The elimination of EU tariffs will assist sectors in every region of Canada, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture and agri-food, automotive, chemicals and plastics, fish and seafood, forestry and value-added wood products, metal and mineral products and technology.
  • EU-Canada summits are held as agreed upon by the Prime Minister of Canada and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission.
  • This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the first Canada‑EU Framework Agreement (1976) and the establishment of the EU’s diplomatic mission in Ottawa.
  • Canada’s trade and investment relations continue to grow with the EU, the world’s second largest single market, and Canada’s second largest bilateral trading partner. Of Canada’s 21 priority markets for investment attraction, 11 are in the EU.

Related Products

Associated Links

Source: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/10/30/canada-and-eu-sign-historic-trade-agreement-during-eu-canada-summit

 

Read more: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/canada/ and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-canada-trade-idUSKBN12U0HU?il=0

 

4.9.2016

Explore the Canadian market and find new business partners in provinces

Canada’s economy has grown slowly during the last months. The country has suffered from trade deficit due to the record high shortfall in the export of Canadian goods. Wild fires on Canada’s oil sands region have hit the economy reducing the production, especially in the Alberta region. Commodity prices have dropped and Brexit has caused uncertainty at the same time. Despite of the difficulties the Canadian economy is expected to grow by 1.4 per cent in 2016.

Canada’s fundaments are strong

Canada’s fundaments are still strong. Canada is an open market with solid protection of property rights and independent judiciary. Canada is a politically stable country. Due to successful immigration processes, Canada has benefited from the talents, qualifications and experience of skilled immigrants. Labor force is highly educated and competent. Canada has also enormous natural recourses. Canada is the port to the North America and its market, explains Mr Vesa Lehtonen, the new Finnish Ambassador to Canada.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which is set to benefit people and businesses across Europe and Canada generating growth and jobs, will entry into force after being accepted in the Council and the European Parliament and going through the relevant national ratifications procedures in the EU Member States.

Finnish companies can offer sustainable solutions for Canadians

The Canadian Government aims to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and more prosperous, safer communities. Its goal is to build strong, modern, world-class public infrastructure. Finland can offer Canadians its expertise in these areas, especially in the Arctic (icebreakers, transport, energy production, infrastructure, basic services, cleantech, meteorology and ICT solutions).

Cleantech, maritime and mining industries are the top three areas where Finnish companies have the most relevant business opportunities in Canada. Foreign companies are allowed to take part in the infra projects financed by budgetary funding. Finnish know-how and offering would provide excellent solutions in renewing and upgrading the existing shipyard capacity and infrastructure. Not to forget that Finnish companies already traditionally have a wide offering in new shipbuilding and ship conversion projects. Firms should be aware of on which political and business level the decisions are made in Canada and its provinces. Companies should also be well prepared to work abroad and able to find a Canadian partner or entity to better succeed in the Canadian market, says Mr Jarno Valkeapää, Councellor, Commercial and Trade Affairs.

Kanada kuva

From left: Mr Francis Uy, Deputy Head, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Embassy in Helsinki, Mr Vesa Lehtonen, the new Finnish Ambassador to Canada, Mr Seppo Vihersaari, Trade Commissioner, Canadian Embassy in Helsinki and Mr Jarno Valkeapää, Councellor, Commercial and Trade Affairs at the Finnish Embassy in Canada.

 

Mr Vesa Lehtonen, the new Finnish Ambassador to Canada, and Mr Jarno Valkeapää, Councellor, Commercial and Trade Affairs shared their views on developments in Canada on 26 August 2016 in Helsinki in a morning session organized by the Finnish-Canadian Business Club.

Written by Ms Anne Hatanpää, Secretary for the Finnish-Canadian Business Club and Liaison Manager of
the Finland Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

11.7.2016

Canadians’ quality of life ranks 2nd globally, according to 2016 Social Progress Index

Canada has moved up in the world as the second most socially advanced country, according to the 2016 Social Progress Index.

The index, released Tuesday, ranks 133 countries in three major categories; “Basic Human Needs,” “Foundations of Wellbeing” and “Opportunity.”

This year, Canada moved up into the top three countries ranking just behind Finland and just beating out Denmark. Canada was sixth overall in last year’s report.

Read more here.

6.5.2016

Kanada elvyttää taloutta urakalla – hallitus julkaisi vuosien 2016–2017 budjetin

Edustustojen raportit, 4.5.2016 | Suomen suurlähetystö, Ottawa

Kanadan marraskuussa työnsä aloittanut liberaalihallitus julkaisi maaliskuun lopussa budjettiarvionsa vuosille 2016–2017. Alijäämäisen budjetin avulla hallitus on luvannut investoida talouskasvua tukeviin hankkeisiin, kuten infrastruktuuriin.

Kanadan loppuvuodesta 2015 valtaan astunut liberaalihallitus julkaisi 22.3.2016 budjettinsa vuosille 2016–2017. Budjetti ennustaa 29,4 miljardin Kanadan dollarin (20 miljardia euroa) alijäämää vuodelle 2016 ja 29 miljardin (20 miljardia euroa) alijäämää vuodelle 2017. Vaalikampanjassaan liberaalit lupasivat 10 miljardin dollarin (6,8 miljardia euroa) alijäämän, mutta Kanadan heikentyneestä taloustilanteesta johtuen alijäämä kasvoi budjetissa lähes kolminkertaiseksi…

Lue koko artikkeli täältä.

2.5.2016

Recycling waste into advanced bioethanol – The members of Finnish-Canadian Business Club paid a visit to St1

The members of the Finnish-Canadian Business Club visited the Headquarters’ of St1 in Helsinki on 12th April 2016. Mr Mika Aho, Managing Director of the St1 Biofuels Oy was the host of the meeting.

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Mika Aho, Managing Director, St1 Biofuels Oy

The vision of St1 is to be the leading producer and seller of CO2 aware energy. Its goal is to develop and commercialize functional and environmentally sustainable solutions and to deliver these solutions in a profitable way. St1 operates in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

St1 Biofuels is a pioneer in waste-based ethanol technology and production facilities.St1 has developed technologies to turn waste into a salable high demand product. Demand for bioethanol, a base chemical for various applications is increasing, as the fossil resources are becoming a scarcer, climate concerns ever growing and the renewable energy obligations higher. St1 Biofuels has built and developed an ethanol production fleet with several plants. Based on the robust experience and know-how from own operation, we have designed repeatable plant solutions for waste-based ethanol production. For further information, please, have a look at http://www.st1biofuels.com/

22.2.2016

Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls on Province to ’Get Back to Fiscal Balance’

TORONTO , Feb. 18, 2016 /CNW/ – Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its2016 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission, which outlines key priorities that address the need to eliminate the deficit and establish some much needed regulatory reforms. According to the most recent OCC membership survey, 92 percent of Ontario businesses believe it is important that the government meet its deficit elimination target by 2017-18.

Eliminating the deficit and reducing the debt should be the government’s top priority,” said Allan O’Dette , President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. ”The provincial debt is now roughly $300 billion – interest payments on that debt are consuming an ever greater portion of the provincial spend. To ensure Ontario’s future competitiveness, we need to get back to fiscal balance.”

Read more here.

15.2.2016

Canada lost 5,700 jobs in January

Alberta had 10,000 fewer jobs, country’s unemployment rate inches up to 7.2%

The Canadian economy lost 5,700 jobs in January and the unemployment rate inched up to 7.2 per cent.

That’s worse than what economists were expecting — for the economy to add about 6,000 jobs during the month.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that fewer people were working in Alberta, Manitoba as well as Newfoundland and Labrador in January. Ontario was the lone province with an employment increase.

”Perhaps the greatest thing of note is that regional weakness in the energy dependent areas is being offset by regional strength in Ontario,” Scotiabank economist Derek Holt said in a note after the numbers came out.

Retail worker jobs

Canada’s jobless rate currently stands at 7.2 per cent after the economy lost 5,700 jobs last month. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

Alberta led the downside, with 10,000 fewer jobs.

Ontario added twice that many, with 20,000 new jobs created. In the past 12 months, Alberta has lost 35,000 jobs, while Ontario has added 100,000.

At 7.4 per cent, Alberta’s jobless rate is now at its highest level in almost 20 years, and is also now higher than the national average for the first time since 1988.

”This is a mild disappointment on Canadian job markets but nothing to get terribly excited over given the small magnitude of the decline and the mixed details,” Holt said.

Source CBCNews; read more here.