16.6.2019

Colombia Day in Helsinki on 12th June 2019

Colombia Day was held in Helsinki on 12th June 2019. Mr Aleksis Kajava, Vice Chair of the Finnish Latin American Business Council chaired the event which was co-organized by Business Finland, Finnish-Latin American Business Council, Procolombia and the Embassy of Colombia in Finland.

Colombia is the 32nd largest economy in the world and 4th in the Latin America. The Colombian economy is the path of recovery and will expand by about 3 – 5 per cent in 2019 – 2020.

Being part of the OECD countries means that public institutions in Colombia will meet standards of the developed world more confidence for investors. FDI has been largely driven by non-mining sectors over the last 3 years.  The USA, the UK, Spain, Switzerland and Mexico are the top investing countries in Colombia. Free Trade Zones Offer for enterprises reduces income tax and VAT exemptions and allow access to local markets.

Business opportunities can be found in energy sector, agribusiness, metal working and other businesses, chemical and life sciences and in service sector (IT, BPO, ITO, Shared Services, Apps),  infrastructure, real estate and retail.

Mr Aleksis Kajava, Regional Director, Latin America and Caribbean presented Vaisala’s activities in Colombia as an example of a Finnish company operating the Colombian market.

Attached please find the presentations

1. Colombia Finland 2019 Paola Garcia

2. Invest in Bogota

3. Invest Pacific

Infografía

Infografía IT SOFTWARE

Invest Pacific is recognized as one of the best investment promotion agencies in South America

Cali promoted as a destination for the outsourcing of global services in the nordic countries

15.3.2018

Keski-Amerikan ja Karibian markkinoiden mahdollisuudet esillä Säätytalossa

Suomalais-Latinalaisamerikkalaisen kauppyhdistyksen puheenjohtaja Kirsi Seppäläinen ja Dominikaanisen tasavallan tuleva Suomen suurlähettiläs Laura Faxas

Keski-Amerikan ja Karibian markkinoiden mahdollisuudet esillä Säätytalossa

Moni ylenkatsoo Keski-Amerikkaa ja Karibiaa kauppakohteena – ja juuri siksi alueeseen kannattaa kiinnittää huomiota, sillä potentiaalia 90 miljoonan asukkaan alueella on kuitenkin runsaasti.

Näin totesi Chris Bennett Säätytalolla 13.3. järjestetyssä Yours to discover -seminaarissa.

Bennett toimii Keski-Amerikan ja Karibian kauppaa ja investointeja edistävän Caribbean Councilin toimitusjohtajana Lontoossa. Caribbean Council on alueen kiistaton asiantuntija, sillä sen jäsenet ovat käyneet kauppaa alueella jo 1700-luvulta lähtien. Bennett myönsi alueen monimutkaisuuden: käytännöt ja toimintatavat vaihtelevat maittain.

Alueella kysyntää suomalaisosaamiselle

Suomalaisyrityksille Bennett nosti esiin neljä mahdollisuuksien alaa: energia- ja kaivannaisteollisuuden, kuljetuksen, matkailun, sekä hurrikaanituhoihin liittyvän jälleenrakennuksen. Vuoden 2017 hirmumyrskyjen tuhot lasketaan tietyissä alueen maissa useamman vuoden BKT:n suuruisina, joten kysyntää tulee riittämään vielä pitkään

Energia-alalla suomalaista Wärtsilä on jo pitkään toiminut Keski-Amerikassa ja Karibian valtioissa. Se rakensi ensimmäisen voimalaitoksensa El Salvadoriin 1990-luvun alussa, ja nyt se on läsnä lähes kaikissa alueen maissa.

Wärtsilän Harri Antikaisen päällimmäinen neuvo alueelle siirtyville suomalaisille oli hankkia hyvä paikallinen kumppani.

Karibian kiertävä suurlähettiläs Jukka Pietikäinen tarjosi suomalaisyrityksille palvelujaan. ”Olen valmis toteuttamaan vaikkapa vain muutaman yrityksen kanssa ’mini fact finding –matkoja’”, jos kiinnostusta riittää”, sanoi Pietikäinen.

Matkailu on ylivoimaisesti tärkein alueen elinkeino, sanoi Bennett. Matkailuelinkeinoon liittyvät esimerkiksi edullisen sähkön saanti ja matkailijoiden käyttämät tuotteet, kuten elintarvikkeet, joista on kysyntää. Costa Rica on johtava matkailumaa, jonka kaltaista brändiä tavoittelevat nyt myös Nicaragua, Guatemala ja El Salvador. Kuuba on avaamassa omistusta ulkomaalaisille.

 Kaupallisen integraation tiellä, mutta kuljettavaa vielä riittää

Suomalaisten kaupankäyntiä helpottavat EU:n solmimat vapaakauppasopimukset niin Keski-Amerikan maiden kuin Karibian yhteisön kanssa, totesi valtiosihteeri Matti Anttonen avauspuheenvuorossaan. Samoin ehdoin voi käydä kauppaa esimerkiksi Keski-Amerikassa, kun on pään avannut yhteen maahan.

Lisäksi tulliliitot helpottavat toimintaa, vaikka integraatio ei ole alueella kovin pitkällä. Honduras ja Guatemala ovat solmineet tulliliiton, johon liittymiseksi El Salvador muokkaa parhaillaan lainsäädäntöään. Myös Nicaragua on kiinnostunut liittymään. Nicaraguan suurlähettiläs Ricardo Alvarado ehdottikin, että suomalaiset yritysvaltuuskunnat voisivat tehdä useamman Keski-Amerikan maan tutustumismatkan.

Seminaaripäivän aikana ilmeni kuitenkin useampaan otteeseen, että todellisuus ei käytännössä aina vastaa sitä, mitä paperilla on sovittu. Kauppa- ja tullisopimusten toimeenpanossa riittää vielä parannettavaa.

Taloudellisesti, kielellisesti, kulttuurisesti, poliittisesti ja oikeudellisesti kirjava kokonaisuus.

Karibian valtiosta suurin osa on englanninkielisiä Ison-Britannian entisiä alusmaita. Väkiluvultaan ja taloutensa koon perusteella näistä suurimmat ovat Jamaika sekä Trinidad ja Tobago. Espanjankielisiin lukeutuvat Kuuba ja Dominikaaninen tasavalta. Karibian ainoa vähiten kehittyneisiin maihin lukeutuva maa on ranskankielinen Haiti.

Karibian yhteisöön luetaan myös Suriname ja Guyana Etelä-Amerikassa. Guyana on Bennettin mukaan mielenkiintoinen siksi, että siellä on hiljattain löydetty uusia, merkittävä öljy- ja kaasuvarantoja. Oikeusjärjestelmiä alueella on jopa 32 erilaista.

Dominikaanisen tasavallassa talouskasvu on ollut Latinalaisen Amerikan ripeintä. Maan vientiorganisaation edustaja Ebell de Castro mainitsi BKT:n kasvun vuosina 2012–2016 olleen 6,5 %. Lukuisat vapaakauppa-alueet ovat de Castron mukaan Dominikaanisen tasavallan valttina kilpailussa sijoittajista.

Keski-Amerikan maista Panama on Dominikaanisen tasavallan lailla ripeästi kasvava talous. Suurlähettiläs Jaime Ortega totesi talouskasvun ennusteeksi 5,8 % tänä vuonna. Kun esimerkiksi Guatemala ja Honduras panostavat vahvasti tuotantolaitosten kehittämiseen, vaikka ovat myös nousevia call center -maita, niin Panama vastaavasti on palveluiden maa: niin logistisesti Amerikoiden välissä Panaman kanavan ja satamateollisuuden kautta kuin pankkitoimijana.

”Älkääkä uskoko kaikkea mitä mediasta luette”, vinkkasi Ortega, entinen pankkiiri itsekin.

Keski-Amerikan ja Karibian kauppaseminaarin järjestivät 13. maaliskuuta yhteistyössä ulkoministeriön Latinalaisen Amerikan ja Karibian yksikkö, Business Finland ja Suomalais-Latinalaisamerikkalainen kauppayhdistys.

Seminaarin ohjelma:
Seminar on Central America and the Caribbean

https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/whats-new/events/2018/yours-to-discover–seminar-on-central-america-and-the-caribbean/

Esitelmät
http://bit.ly/2FSJHmh

Teksti: Tiina Nikkinen, Ulkoministeriö

 

 

 

 

22.2.2018

Nicaragua – lämpöä, vettä ja mahdollisuuksia

Mielestäni olisi ihanteellisinta käydä joka vuosi reissaamassa jossain uudessa maassa tai paikassa, mutta tällä kertaa päätin matkustaa Nicaraguaan, omaan kotimaahani. Olen asunut Suomessa jo neljä vuotta, joten paluu Keski-Amerikkaan turistin roolissa oli jopa minullekin varsin eksoottinen kokemus.

Opiskelen tällä hetkellä Multilingual Management Assistant -ohjelmassa Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulussa, Helsingissä, joten lähdin matkaan opiskelijabudjetilla. Nicaragua on suhteellisen halpaa maa, jonka takia minulla oli mahdollisuus käydä tulivuorilla, laguuneilla ja koloniaalisissa kaupungeissa ilman, että olisin ajautunut henkilökohtaiseen konkurssiin.

 

 

Nicaraguassa minusta tuntui tosi turvalliselta kävellessäni kaduilla. Matkustaessani kaupungista toiseen käytin suosittuja ”kanabusseja” (Chicken bus), jotka ovat siis vanhoja amerikkalaisia tai kanadalaisia koulubusseja. Tämän lisäksi toinen vaihtoehto olisi ollut matkustaa matkatoimistojen tarjoamilla sukkulabusseilla. Viime vuonna Maailman talousfoorumi (World Economic Forum, WEF) listasi Nicaraguan yhdeksi Amerikan mantereen turvallisimmiksi maiksi.

Parasta matkallani oli se, kun lähdin pulkkamäkeen Cerro Negro-tulivuorelle, joka on edelleen aktiivinen. Minun siskoni sekä ruotsalaisten ja englantilaisten turistien kanssa kapusimme tulivuoren huipulle kaksi kertaa saman aamun aikana. Toisella laskukerralla olimme jo huippulaskijoita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cerro Negron jälkeen lähdin käymään koloniaalisessa Leonin kaupungissa, joka on myös Nicaraguan kansallisrunoilijan Ruben Darion syntymäpaikka. Häntä pidetään espanjankielisen modernismin isänä. Illastamalla vaikuttavan katedraalin edessä nauttien ilmaiseksi katutaiteilijoiden esittämästä Gigantona-tanssia, jonka juuret ulottuvat Espanjan siirtomaa-aikaan, voi aistia nicaragualaisen ilon, spontaanisuuden ja vieraanvaraisuuden.

Nicaraguassa ollessani huomasin, kuinka maa on sopeutunut reppureissaajien ja luksusmatkailijoiden kasvavaan määrään. Jopa Britannian kuninkaallisen perheen prinsessa Eugene kihlautui vastikään lomaillessaan järvien ja tulivuorien maassa.

Maan Tyynenmeren puoleisella alueella on yli 20 tulivuorta, joista 7 on aktiivisia. Nicaragua sijoittaa nykyään neljänneksi eniten geotermiseen energiaan verrattuna muihin Latinalaisen Amerikan maihin. Julkisten ja yksityisten rahoittajien sijoituksilla sekä Maailmanpankin (World Bank) ja Latinalaisen Amerikan kehityspankin (Inter-American Development Bank, IDB) tuella, maa on pystynyt hyötymään tämän energiamuodon yli 2,000 MW:n energiapotentiaalista.

Siitä lähtien, kun olen asun Suomessa, olen todellakin alkanut arvostamaan auringonvaloa. Nicaragua tarjoaa mahdollisuuden surffailuun Tyynenmeren rannikolla tai vaikka sitten Karibian rannikon koskemattomista rannoista nauttimiseen. Toisin kuin muualla Nicaraguassa, Karibian rannikolla ihmiset puhuvat englantia, koska aikaisemmin kyseinen alue oli Ison-Britannian hallinnoima siirtomaa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aamuinen herätys trooppisen lämpöön ja hyvän tuoksuiseen kahviin, jonka pavut ovat peräisin Mombacho tulivuoren liepeiltä tai maan pohjoisosan vuorilta, on nautinnollinen kokemus vailla vertaa. Vaikka Suomessa trooppisesta lämmöstä onkin puute, niin kotimaani laadukasta kahvia on kuitenkin onneksi saatavilla. Tamperelainen Mokkamestarit Oy myy nicaragualaista Royal Momotombo -kahvia, jonka pavut yritys ostaa nicaragualaisilta yhteistyökumppaneiltaan Nueva Segovian kaupungista.

Euroopan unionin ja Keski-Amerikan välisen vapaakauppasopimuksen ansiosta suomalaisilla yrityksillä on pääsy sijoitus- ja liiketoimintamahdollisuuksiin Nicaraguassa, jotka ovat uusiutuvan energian, koulutuksen ja infrastruktuurin aloilla.

Kävellessäni Cocibolca-järvellä ihailin sen pieniä tulivuori Mombachon purkautumisen tuotoksena syntyneitä saaria, ja ymmärsin todellakin heittäneeni talviturkkini etuaikaan tänä vuonna. Kuitenkin merkittävin asia, jonka ymmärsin matkallani oli se, että saatettuni opintoni loppuun voisin kuvitella palaavani takaisin Nicaraguaan yrittäjänä.

Kirjoittaja: Gabriela Gutiérrez M.

17.1.2018

Economic and Political Outlook of Ecuador and Future Prospects

Finncham interviewed  Mr Galo Abril-Ojeda, Executive President (CEO), Nordic Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce.

Economic and Political Outlook

Nowadays, a political and economic stability may be in sight since the recently elected President, Lenin Moreno, is trying to open its public policies towards an integration with Ecuadorian private companies, to boost the country´s productive sector. This, given that the previous 10 year left-winged presidential mandate (considering a half way reelection that took place in 2013) focused on developing several basic infrastructure projects and socially beneficial policies, but breaking apart most incentives towards the private sector.

According to IMF estimates (World Economic Outlook, October 10, 2017) even if most countries around the world are showing signs of a strong economic recovery, the rate of  growth of the Ecuadorian economy during 2018 may only be 0.6%.  A very poor recovery if the stagnation of -1.6% registered during 2016 and the 1% growth estimated for 2017 by the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) are taken into consideration.

However, the IMF estimate for Ecuador in 2018 differs from the 1.3% presented by CEPAL (December 15, 2017) and from the 1.8 – 2.0% published  by the Ecuadorian Central Bank. The Ecuadorian optimism regarding a higher rate of economic recovery mainly relates to the new governmental economic program that includes a growing public expenditure on social assistance programs, financed with a growing Foreign Debt (in order to fulfill the general elections campaign promises); to the foreign remittances from Ecuadorians working abroad and, to some extent, to the higher international prices for Ecuadorian commodities, excepting oil, registered during the last two quarters of 2017.

Even if oil exports stand for the highest public income source of Ecuador and considering that barrel prices have been quickly increasing lately (currently close to USD 60/barrel), these oil price increases will not benefit  the Public Sector´s financial situation according to statements from the Ministry of Hydrocarbons. This is due to the fact that practically 100% of the exportable Ecuadorian oil (120 million barrels for 2018) has already been sold in advance to mainly Chinese and Korean companies. In the 2018 Governmental Budget, around 20% of its total has been assigned to pay the fast growing public foreign debt service, currently representing about 60% of GDP.

The poor economic performance of Ecuador during the last two years has to some extent affected its rate of employment, nowadays around 4% (official estimates). However, if the fact that almost half of the employed labor force, 48%, has “non-appropriate jobs”, reflected in insufficient salary levels, the conditions at the labor market have to be considered as something larger than just a problem. One of the most affected sectors is construction, which significantly employs labor force moving from rural to urban areas.

The newly established Government presented an economic adjustment program with a human focus avoiding measures with major impact on real incomes or public employment of lower and middle income groups. However, both industrial and commerce chambers have criticized the economic program arguing that it does not change the economic strategy applied by the former “left-wing Government” with serious unfavorable impact on investment levels that the actual Government had promised to change. New investments in key sectors like oil, telecommunications, agriculture and similar have the lowest rates of annual growth compared to most countries in the region.

Furthermore, actions taken by governmental and judicial authorities against corruption in public companies and the open invitation to private enterprisers to invest in the country within a framework of structural reforms, democracy and respect for human rights, are expected to significantly increase foreign direct investments (FDI)  in  Ecuador. According to different recent polls, around 70% of the population do accept President Moreno´s political conduct.

Future Prospects

As we have seen so far, the Government is taking different measures in order to increase confidence in foreign investors, particularly of those interested in the “strategic sectors” and infrastructure in general, which have traditionally been in hands of public companies.

Finnish companies with technologies directed to improve energy efficiency, to reduce the use of fossil fuel changing to renewables, i.e. reusing waste to energy are very welcome (waste problems with sever health and social consequences are actually an acute growing problem in most Ecuadorian cities).

IT companies, companies in telecommunication, forestry, housing and infrastructure in general as well as consulting companies connected to these sectors and specialists in export promotion are most welcome.

How to enter the Ecuadorian market as an exporter or as an investor?

Similar to the rest of Latin American countries, getting to know the business environment and how to deal with public institutions is key to a successful entrance to the Ecuadorian market.

Ecuador is a country full of business opportunities, both for large scale infrastructure or similar projects and for taking advantage of a considerable size of potential customers. Even if the country´s economy and population are not as big as in other countries in the region, there is a large group of potential customers or users that know about the existence of a whole world of new product and service solutions around the globe, but currently has no access to it. The reason is simple: the supply has not arrived yet.

The optimal way to enter the country will most likely require some assistance from local counterparts. Further than just relying on local legal professionals that may assist in setting up a company and its tax and social benefit obligations, it is recommended for an entering company to explore for local experts in its specific field of operations. Even though legislation stating a company´s obligations are quite clear, from imports to local tax revenue practices, it is known that these operations may commonly get delayed if the company isn’t properly assessed by professionals in the field. Time efficiency as well as related operative costs may quickly rise, risking the company´s forecasted cash flow.

A very similar scenario is also applied for investment plans. In both cases, finding a partner is highly recommended, but finding the right one is critical in order to reach a fast high-growth scenario.

How the Nordic Chamber of Commerce can help Finnish companies?

Being able to analyze a potential entrance to the Ecuadorian market requires an assessment with a local perspective. The Nordic Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce will not only assist Finnish companies or investors in exploring the opportunities surrounding a specific field of business, but will do it understanding that Nordic and Ecuadorian points of view can differ in critical aspects of a business plan. From our experience, this is a key factor that will determine a project´s failure or its success.

With our broad network in Ecuador, our Chamber can support interested parties in approaching local and national authorities, associations and other stakeholders, as well as provide assessment in finding and evaluating key players as potential counterparts. Size is always important, but a company´s reputation, networking abilities and growth potential will also play a significant role when choosing a business partner.

We will be glad to take all inquiries and assist any company looking for comments on business opportunities or more in-depth services. Our chamber looks to go beyond just matchmaking; we understand both cultures, we explore, analyze and advice. Success stories can even be told by multinational companies such as Wartsila, whose size, knowledge and history didn´t stop them to rely on us for local directions. Accepting that every single country is a different environment, their trust on us has helped them penetrate the Ecuadorian market establishing solid grounds and executing high growing projects.

17th January 2018

Author: Galo Abril-Ojeda, Executive President (CEO), Nordic Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce
Dirección: Calle Andalucía y Cordero, Edificio CYEDE Piso 5, Quito – Ecuador. Telf: +593-2-2555512, celular: +593 9 91740475 www.comercio-nordico.com E-mail: gabril@comercio-nordico.com

Interviewer: Anne Hatanpää, Finncham

                                                                                                                                                      

 

5.1.2018

Interview with H.E. Ernesto Céspedes, Ambassador of Mexico in Helsinki

Mexico has gone through many reforms during the last years – how would you describe these reforms and their impact on economy? 

The reforms in Mexico have been of historical proportions. The long overdue structural reforms aim for the deep transformation of my country and in making Mexico more competitive worldwide. Most of the reforms are in key sectors like energy, telecom, education, but there have also been economic, competence and regulatory reforms which we hope will attract business and investments.
Mexico’s new energy landscape features the prominent presence of renewable energies and the Mexican government is swift to confirm its commitment to a 35% of clean energy power generation by 2024. Additionally, the government’s National Infrastructure Program 2014-2018 aims for an efficient interconnection of clean technologies to the national energy grid. The modernization and development of the grid’s transmission lines is expected to further evolve the development of renewable energy generation projects.

According to Mexico’s Energy Reform: A Game Changer in the Nation’s History –a recent publication by law firm Goodrich Riquelme y Asociados– project investments from the private sector could reach 27% of overall investment in the Mexican energy sector, and private investments that originate from the structural reforms are expected to reach 20 billion usd annually between 2015 and 2018. The study also predicts that by 2018, these investments will represent 15% of the energy sector’s total investment capital.

H.E. Ernesto Céspedes, Ambassador of Mexico in Helsinki

Mexico has become a large manufacturing country – which kind of business opportunities Finnish companies would find in Mexico?

Finnish companies can find many diverse business opportunities in a large country such as Mexico. Finnish authorities have highlighted in particular new opportunities in the energy, telecom, and education sectors.  Mexico is also highly integrated into international value chains that give foreign companies a chance to profit from these activities.

Puerto Vallarta

The share of EU investments in Mexico is 11 per cent. How would you encourage Finnish companies to invest in Mexico and in which sectors?

Mexico has a large domestic market, highly skilled labor with competitive costs, great geographic location, and a vast network of free trade agreements that guarantee access to the most important and dynamic markets. Likewise, Mexico has an institutional framework that can provide foreign companies many benefits like: incentives, guidance through local paperwork and formalities, and even help identifying local counterparts. There is a wide array of  possibilities in different sectors and in many different states, which in many cases, the local governments can also offer other incentives and facilities. Mexico has a favorable business environment as ranked in the top two best places for doing business in Latin America and obtained the best ranking in the WEF Global competitiveness report 2012-2013.

EU and Mexico are modernizing the EU- Mexico Global Agreement – how do you see the role of free trade agreements in today’s trade relations – with the EU and worldwide?

In 2016 the EU was Mexico’s second-biggest export market after the US. The EU’s key imports from Mexico are fuels and mining products, office and telecommunication equipment, transport equipment, and other machinery.

The EU was Mexico’s third-largest source of imports in 2016, after the US and China. Key EU exports to Mexico include other machinery, transport equipment, chemical products, and fuels and mining products.

In terms of services EU imports from Mexico are dominated by travel services, and transport services. EU services exports to Mexico consist mainly of transport services, and telecommunications, computer and information services. The EU has published a series of textual proposals on issues such as trade in goods, services, investment, technical barriers to trade, competition rules, trade defense instruments, resolution of state-to-state disputes, transparency and sustainable development.

Mexico and the EU are both very committed to free trade and the modernization of the Global Agreement ratifies our strategic partnership. The current international trading system is coming under pressures due to protectionist tendencies, but both parts believe in free trade as part of the solution for a full recovery of the world economy.

Playa Caballo

Finnair flies to Mexico – please, tell us why to visit Mexico this time of the year?

”Vallarta-Nayarit” is the perfect entry point for Finnish as it is a nice, warm and inviting destination for you to let your imagination go. Almost anything you want to do on a holiday you can do in Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit. From a relaxing holiday by the beach or scuba diving around the Marietas Islands, swimming with the dolphins in the wild, humpback whale watching or a zip line in the jungle. It also opens the door to one of the most “Mexican” states, Jalisco, where the Mariachi, Tequila and Charros were born. A lot of tradition and culture take place in just one state. Mexico is so much more than Sun and Beach, and Vallarta-Nayarit is just the starting point.

This time of the year is the perfect timing for Europeans to visit Mexico as that region has the perfect weather for you to escape the cold, dark winter and enjoy some well-deserved sunshine!

Text: Embassy of Mexico, questions Finncham/Anne Hatanpää

12.12.2017

Argentina on its path to growth and change

FinnCham introduced the new member of the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association by interviewing its Latin American specialists in Helsinki Mr Janne Aalto and Mr Rodrigo de la Cruz López, CFA:

President Macri keeps applying a free-market reform agenda to try to overhaul economy. How do you see the economic situation of Argentina in overall?

Argentina is the second largest economy in South American with a young and growing population of around 44 million inhabitants. After years of isolation and populist policy, the actual government is pushing business friendly reforms to lead the country back to an economic path of growth and stability. The key agenda of the current administration is to boost job creation, increase the standard of living and reduce poverty by business friendly reforms. The actual government is doing everything possible to feed economic growth, entrepreneurship and attract investors to receive considerable amounts of investments. Current Argentinean president, Macri was elected in December 2015, immediately starting with a return to the international financial markets, which have been closed to the country since 2001.

As soon as the current administration took over in December 2015, the government started to implement a battery of reforms in order to make a total turnaround in the country’s economic policies and targets. Argentina has returned to international capital markets with a 4x oversubscribed USD 16bn offering of sovereign debt, peso started to float freely and currency capital controls have been eliminated, allowing the country to come back in 2017 for a sovereign series of 100 years tenor, which is not common for emerging markets fixed income instruments.

Argentina is a country which used to have a higher GDP per capita than many European countries during first half of 20th century. However, after decades of populism, corruption and mismanagement the country has decreased its level and increased the poverty level, which is one of the current main concerns to provide a solution.   

 Now, Argentina has turned the page. First time in decades at the same time, GDP has started to increase with an estimate of +3 % in 2017 and inflation and unemployment are decreasing. However, the government has still challenges ahead to tackle such as fiscal deficit and inflation.  

Which other business friendly measures have been taken after President Macri was elected in 2015 in order to boost the economy?

Argentina’s business environment has changed dramatically, but for better. Macri’s government has very ambitious and business friendly plan. Actual government is opening the country to international arenas after years of isolation and protectionism.

As mentioned before, elimination of capital controls, reduction in export tariffs, tax reforms and many more, Argentina is trying to attract international investors by creating interesting and attractive business opportunities. However, after populism and extremely protectionism era Argentina needs time to re-build trust and confidence for the markets. The first year of Macri’s administration in 2016 was not as good as the markets were expecting  but as big changes take time to show improvements, finally, after 2016’s take off, during 2017 the economy has begun to recover heavily and firmly.  Macroeconomic outlook is very positive. GDP has started to grow and the estimate for the year 2017 is around 3 % increase. Unemployment is decreasing also and one of the key agendas of the actual government is to create more jobs by economic growth in both private and public sectors.

On the other hand central bank is still struggling with inflation, nevertheless inflation has started to decrease. According to Macri’s latest interview in Bloomberg news, Argentina has turned the corner. “Without a fixed exchange rate, without any type of price controls, we have been reducing inflation. I am more confident than ever that in 2019 we will have single-digit inflation.” (1) Shortly said Argentina is back in business and economic outlook is very positive for years ahead.  

So, Argentina is back in business, but how is the situation in terms of International trade after years of protectionism?   

One of the key agendas of the actual government is to put Argentina back to the word after decades of protectionist policy. Argentina is an active member of WTO, member of G20 countries and actually hosting 2018 G20 presidency. Argentina is a founding member of Mercosur – South American trade block together with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Argentina is also applying to join OECD countries.

Worth mentioning for all investors that it is really interesting and important to follow how free trade negotiations are improving between EU and Mercosur, because obviously free trade agreement with EU would have a huge impact for foreign trade. For Finnish investors it could be said that Finland has signed the investment agreement with Argentina in 1996. One of the key agendas of actual government is to improve free trade agreement also bilaterally with countries such as important neighbor Chile and huge trade partner China.

Argentina is culturally fantastic country which is really well-known of tango, theaters, cattle raising, football, red wine and high quality meet. However, the country is much more. Argentina has high level of natural resources such as mineral, natural gas and oil.

Traditionally Argentina is well-known for its agricultural products such as soybean, wheat, corn, etc. Agricultural industry is mainly located in the centre and north. On the other hand Andean mountains determine the west side of the country which soil is rich of minerals such as copper, silver and gold.

Last but not least, extremely beautiful Patagonia contains fish industry and natural resources such as petroleum, shale oil and shale gas.  

We heard President Macri’s center-right coalition performed well in congressional elections in Argentina in October this year. Which kind of reforms are expected to take place after these elections?

Argentinian parliament had mid-terms election in the end of October 2017. Macri’s “Cambiemos” or “Let’s Change” coalition won the top five population centers of Buenos Aires City, and Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe and Mendoza provinces. No single party had won all five in a mid-term vote since 1985. It could be said that the mid-term election were important win for Macri’s coalition also strengthing the mandate in reform agenda. Some months before election market and some analyst were a bit qualified what will happen if “Cambiemos” coalition would lose the mid-term elections. However, the outcome boosted the actual government’s agenda even further and important to mention the defeat Christina Kirchner and Kirchnerism in Buenos Aires province was a significant milestone.

The first goal after the mid-term election is to pass the 2018 budged in Congress not forgetting the importance to take control of country’s fiscal deficit. Macri commented straight after the election result that big target is pass tax reform. Macri commented in Bloomberg interview that the government plans to reduce income tax, custom duties and taxes at state and city levels. The objective is to stoke the economy so that any lost revenue is recovered through increased productivity and less tax evasion. Ideally, the plan will have a neutral impact on the budget, but Macri warned that there is little room to increase taxes and no decision has been taken on whether to tax Argentina’s financial industry. (Source: 1) 

Based on the Argentinean Investment & Trade Agency research, Argentina has more than USD 265Bn investment opportunities in sectors such as infrastructure, telecommunication and it, oil & gas, agricultural, mining, energy and especially renewable energy. Infrastructure sector investment plan solely is more than USD 140Bn.  

Which kind of impact the mentioned measures will have on Argentina-Finland investment relation?

For Finnish companies Argentina offers big investment opportunities especially in infrastructure, renewable energy and telecommunication, mobile network and capital markets. After years of isolation trade policy Argentina has gap in almost every sector. Government has also provided new legal framework for Public-Private Partnership in order to provide stronger safety net for big investors in infrastructure sector. Additionally, the government has passed new entrepreneurship law to facilitate business environment, providing support to entrepreneurs, IT start-up acceleratos, and local & foreign investors in related ventures.

For Finnish companies Argentina offers big opportunities in energy, industrial and IT sectors. After years of no investments in the sector, the country has a power shortage. This provides opportunities in the mentioned sector.

In energy sector investment Argentinian main focus is on renewable energy which the country has to offer (wind, solar, hydro, gas, oil, biomass, etc). Interestingly Wärtsilä is alreay participating for Renovar project.

Turning to technology, Finland is worldly known by its disruptive technology companies, and it’s not by chance that the main Finnish companies in the sector are targeting Argentinean tech start-ups, getting back to 90’s when Argentina used to be the main hub for tech start-ups in the region, based in Buenos Aires, its capital city. Since 2016 foreign investors has started to return to the country. With highly skilled labor force Argentinean tech-companies offer unique opportunities compared to rest of Latin American region countries.

On the other hand Finland’s public sector is already participating Argentinian education reforms. In G20 meeting the president of Argentina also pointed out the need of educational improvements.

As a conclusion it could be said that all in all the current administration acts have had and will have a huge effect for economic situation and investment opportunities.

EY has an office in Argentina. How EY supports companies in Finland and Argentina to do business?

EY is one of the Big4 companies offering professional consultancy services worldwide. EY has offices along Argentina, the biggest located in Buenos Aires. Importantly, EY has more than 60 offices and around 20 000 employees in Latin America. EY supports companies in assurance, tax, law, financial consulting and transaction services.

With all this support, EY Finland Latin American Desk can provide tailored services for Finnish companies by taking into account Finnish entities’ needs. Depending on those,  EY Finland can contact Argentinian colleagues in the case that there is a need e.g. local tax consultancy.

Thank you very much!

Reference:

Other sources used for this report include: Argentinean Investment & Trade Agency, Bloomberg, Reuters, EY internal analysis, Econviews among others.

Janne Aalto | Manager | EMEIA Financial Services
Ernst & Young Oy
Alvar Allon Katu 5 C, FI00100 Helsinki, Finland
Office: +358 207 280 190 | Mobile: +358 504 314 299   | janne.aalto @fi.ey.com
Website: http://www.ey.com

 

 

 

Rodrigo de la Cruz López, CFA | EMEIA Financial Services
Ernst & Young Oy
Alvar Allon Katu 5 C, FI00100 Helsinki, Finland
Office: +358 207 280 190 | Mobile: +358 503 318 697 | rodrigo.de.la.cruz.lopez@fi.ey.com
Website: http://www.ey.com

Text: Janne Aalto and Rodrigo de la Cruz López, EMEIA Financial Services
Ernst & Young Oy

20.9.2017

INVITATION – Focus on Argentina – breakfast meeting

When: Monday, October 9, 2017 at 08:30 – 10:00 hrs
Place: Team Finland house, Porkkalankatu 1, Ruoholahti, Helsinki
To whom: Business representatives interested in Argentina
Registration:  by October 6, 2017 at noon

CLICK TO REGISTER

 

Finpro together with the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association would like to invite you to attend a business breakfast focusing on Argentina on Monday, October 9, 2017 at the Team Finland House.

The event aims to share current information on the political and economic situation in Argentina, as well as highlight interesting testimonials of some Finnish companies doing business in Argentina.  The keynote speaker of the meeting will be H.E. Mr. Facundo Vila, Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Finland.

Now it is time to have a closer look at the opportunities in Argentina. Breakfast event is offered free of charge but requires a pre-registration; when registering you can submit questions to the speakers in advance. The seminar language is English.

Click this link to read more about Argentina.

Welcome !

For more information, please contact:
Kirsti Tarvainen, Manager, Finpro, kirsti.tarvainen@finpro.fi, +358 40 34 33 434
Ms. Anne Hatanpää, Liaison Manager, Finland Chamber of Commerce, anne.hatanpaa@chamber.fi, +358 50 320 9539.

 

14.9.2017

Business-matkalle Dominikaaniseen tasavaltaan?

Dominikaaninen tasavalta on pinta-alaltaan ja asukasluvultaan Karibianmeren toiseksi suurin valtio. Se käsittää pääosin Hispaniolan saaren itäosan. Lännessä naapurina on Haitin valtio. Presidentti Danilo Medina ja Dominikaaninen vapautusryhmä sai toisen perättäisen vaalivoittonsa toukokuussa 2016 perustuslain uudistuksen jälkeen, mikä antoi presidentille mahdollisuuden toimia toisella toimikaudella. Dominikaanisen tasavallan talous on kasvanut viidestä seitsemään prosenttia vuosittain. Keskeisessä osassa ovat palvelut, erityisesti turismi, finanssipalvelut, telekommunikaatio ja kaivosteollisuus. Finnair avaa suorat reittilennot sekä Kuubaan ja Dominikaaniseen tasavaltaan ensi talvena.

Dominikaanisen tasavallan bruttokansantuote on kasvanut miltei yhtä nopeasti kuin Kiinan – miten tämä näkyy elinkeinoelämässä ja katukuvassa?

Hyvä talouskasvu on parantanut maan luottoluokitusta ja alentanut kansainvälisiä korkoja. Valtio saa nyt dollaripohjaista lainaa 5 – 6 prosentin koroilla. Muutama vuosi sitten korko oli 10 prosenttia. Tämä on laskenut yritysten ja yksityisten lainojen korkoja, jotka ovat tosin vieläkin paikallisissa pesoissa laskettuina melkoisen korkeita. Tämä tukee myös yksityistä kulutusta sekä yritysten mahdollisuuksia laajentaa toimintojaan entistä kohtuullisemmalla rahoituksella.

Parantuvan taloustilanteen voi olettaa alentavan lainojen korkoja vielä lisää ja lisäävän talouden aktiviteettejä. Minimipalkoja nostettiin äskettäin 20 prosentilla, mikä vauhdittaa yksityistä kulutusta. Muun muassa 3,5 miljoonan asukkaan Santo Domingossa tämä näkyy parantuneena katukuvana. Uusia liike- ja asuinrakennuksia on rakennettu ja moottoriteitä tehty.

Tunnemme Dominikaanisen tasavallan lomakohteena, mutta millä sektoreilla suomalaisilla yrityksillä olisi liiketoimintamahdollisuuksia maassa?

Energiasektorilla riittää tekemistä. Mielenkiintoisena yksityiskohtana voin mainita Wärtsilän hyvän aseman Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa. Jos vedettäisiin ”töpselit” irti kaikista Wärtsilän myymistä generaattoreista, sammuisivat valot samalla alueella, joka kattaa 40 – 45 prosenttia maasta.

Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa on kova tarve uusiutuvasta energiasta ja kiinnostus siihen. Laki 57-07 antaa uusiutuvan energian tuotteille monia helpotuksia tuontitulleista alkaen. Tuulta saarella on mittaustietojen mukaan paljon. Samoin  aurinkoisia tunteja aurinkopaneeleille on paljon. Edelleen sähkön kysyntä on suurempaa kuin tarjonta, mikä tarkoittaa, että isoja ja pieniä varageneraattoreita on yrityksissä, kerrostaloissa, omakotitaloissa ja mökeillä. Sähkön varausakkujärjestelmät, joilla valot ja muut perusasiat toimivat ilman generaattoreita, ovat yleisiä.  Sähköverkkojen vaatima kunnostus ja siihen tarvittavat tuotteet ovat oma lukunsa. Työn alla on isohko kivihiilivoimalaitos, joka valmistuttuaan pienentää sähkön kysynnän ja tarjonnan epätasapainoa. Poistaako voimalaitos tuon ongelman, onkin toinen kysymys, kun maan talous kasvaa vauhdilla.

Pasi Kapanen ja avovaimonsa Marilayn

Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa kasvaa kiinnostus ympäristöä kohtaan. Rannoille saapuvat turistit ovat tärkeä tulolähde. Luontomatkailu on nousemassa houkuttelemaan turisteja maahan perinteisen rantalomailun lisäksi. Paikalliset viljelijät tuottavat reilun kaupan tuotteita ja ovat menestyneet saamaan merkittäviä markkinaosuuksia niiden tuotannossa.

Uusiutuvaa energiaa käsittelevä laki tuli jo vuonna 2007 voimaan Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa, mikä on hyvä osoitus kiinnostuksesta vaalia ympäristöä. Hotellit haluavat erottua toisistaan ja korostaa ekologista toimintatapaa. Tähän liittyville tuotteille voisi löytyä kysyntää hotellikiinteistöjen omistajien sekä hotelleja pyörittävien ketjujen ja yrittäjien joukosta.

Vesi ja siihen liittyvät asiat ovat mahdollisuus alan yrityksille. Kunnallista viemäriverkostoa ei käytännössä ole. Esimerkiksi Suur-Santo Domingossa, jossa asuu reilut neljä miljoonaa asukasta, paikallinen vesilaitos ei ole toistaiseksi pysyt toimittamaan puhdistettua vettä asukkaille. Jäte- ja talousvesi sekä niihin liittyvät toiminnot ovat oma lisälukunsa.

Jätteiden käsittelyyn haetaan myös vastauksia Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa. Esimerkiksi Santo Domingon tärkeimmällä kaatopaikalla on meneillään orastava ympäristö­katastrofi. Ympäristö- ja terveys­ministeriö ovat haastaneet oikeuteen kaatopaikan pitäjän, jonka pitäisi pystyä vastaan­ottamaan noin 4500 tonnia jätettä päivittäin ja jonka kaatopaikka on ala-arvoisesti hoidettu.

Mineraaleja viedään noin 1,5 miljardin USD:n arvosta vuosittain, joten kaivosteollisuuskin on kiinnostava toimiala. Pääosan viennistä muodostaa kulta. Kullankaivajia on viisi ja muita kaivosyhtiöitä noin 50, isompia ja pienempiä. Uusien kaivausten aloittamisesta puhutaan.

Sairaanhoito hoituu valtionomisteisissa sairaaloissa ja yksityissairaaloissa sekä klinikoilla. On hyvin yleistä, että asukkailla on sairasvakuutus, jonka puitteissa voi käyttää yksityisklinikoiden ja yksityis- sairaaloiden palveluita. Tulotason noustessa kasvaa potentiaalisten yksityisen sairasvakuutuksien ottajien ja samalla laadukkaiden yksityisklinikoiden käyttäjien määrä. Samalla sairaalalaitteiden ja
-tarvikkeiden toimittajille avautuu liiketoimintamahdollisuuksia.

Päivittäistavarakaupassa toimii kuusi isompaa ketjua sekä villejä ja vapaita pienempiä supermar­ketteja. Alalla on myös lukematon määrä pieniä ”colmadoja”, joissa myydään peruselintarvikkeita kahvion tai baarin yhteydessä ja useimmiten kotiintoimituksilla. Maassa on oma elintarvike­tuotan­toa, mutta melkoinen osa elintarvikkeista tuodaan muualta. Ketjut vaativat mielellään 60 ja jopa 90 päivän maksuajan, mikä on haaste, mikäli omalla maahantuojalla ei ole riittävästi omia pääomia rahoittaa pitkähköjä maksuaikoja. Ketjut tuovat myös itse tuotteita. Kasvava talous tuo ja kasvattaa lisää tarpeita koko ajan.

Miten suomalainen yritys löytäisi parhaiten liikekumppanin Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa?

Miten voi saada kontaktin sopiviin myyjiin tai maahantuojiin –  mieluiten alalla toimiviin tai alalle aikoviin?  Kuten Suomessakin niin Santo Domingossa kauppakamari on yksi kanava saada tietoa alan yrityksistä. Lisäksi on erilaisia alan etujärjestöjä, joihin voi olla yhteydessä. Kunniapää­konsulaatti auttaa aikansa ja mahdollisuuksiensa puitteissa. Suomalaissyntyisenä varapää­konsulina olen itse ehkä aktiivisemmin yhteydessä suomalaiseen bisnek­seen. Jos yritys/henkilö ottaa yhteyttä minuun, voimme keskustella, mitä voitaisiin tehdä agentin, myyjän tai maahantuojan löytämiseksi.

Mitä suomalaisten yritysten tulisi ottaa huomioon, mikäli haluavat viedä Dominikaaniseen tasavaltaan tai investoida sinne?

Myyjän tulisi mielellään puhua asiakkaan kieltä. Ehkä nuori tuotepäällikkö Santo Domingossa voi puhua hyvää englantia, mutta firman omistaja ja ehkä perustaja ei kieltä välttämättä puhu. Siinä on iso haaste, kun ottaa huomioon, että omistaja on ehkä kuitenkin se, joka tekee lopulta päätöksen.

Kun on alustavasti selvinnyt ja nähty, että tuotteella on myyntimahdollisuuksia, suosittelisin, että kaikki mahdolliset asian hoitamiseen käytettävissä olevat resurssit otetaan käyttöön parhaan mahdollisen myyjän, agentin tai maahantuojan löytämiseksi. Tämä hyvä löytö kertoo, mitä maassa pitää tehdä ja mitä tarvitaan, jotta kauppa käy.

Mikäli yritys on kiinnostunut investoimaan maahan, se voi saada monenlaisia etuja, joilla sijoittajia houkutellaan maahan. Zona franca -vapaakauppa-alueet on tarkoitettu tuotteiden kokoonpanoon tai tuotantoon. Näille alueille laitteet ja materiaalit voidaan tuoda ilman veroa. Osa tuotteista voidaan myydä näiltä alueilta Dominikaanisen tasavallan markkinoille ja loput viedä vapaasti maasta muihin maihin. Vapaakauppa-alue DR-Cafta helpottaa tavaran liikkumista alueen sisällä. Investoijille on tarjolla jopa nopeutettu ”residencia” eli asuinpaikka mielenkiitoisilla veroeduilla.

Voiko loman ja bisneksen yhdistää vieraillessa Dominikaanisessa tasavallassa? Miten se tapahtuisi parhaiten?

On erinomainen idea yhdistää matkaan loma, golf, rannat, aurinko, lepo, rento elämä sekä business. Tulija voi lähteä itse tutkimaan markkinoita ja saada niistä kuvan, miten jatkaa eteenpäin. Hän voi myös olla yhteydessä minuun ja voimme selvittää, mitä tulisi tehdä. Markkinoita on hyvä tutkia. Mallit on otettava mukaan. Usein tavataan kokeeksi muutama alalla toimiva yritys ja saadaan kuva siitä, miten asiaa kannattaa viedä eteenpäin. Markkinoita voidaan selvittää myös ennakkoon ja tavata jo mahdollisia asiakkaita/myyjiä/maahantuojia ensimmäisen loman aikana.

Henkilökohtaisesti suosisin Punta Canaa, jossa on upeat rannat ja rento rantaelämä. Puerto Plata on toinen mahdollisuus. Lennot ja hotellit voi varata yhdensuuntaisilla lennoilla, joita myydään pelkkinä menoina tai useampi kohde -valinnalla. Ensin matkataan Santo Domingoon, jossa hoidetaan bisnekset. Sieltä matka jatkuu Punta Canaan/Puerto Plataan, josta lennetään takaisin Suomeen.

Kontaktitiedot:
Pasi Kapanen pasi@kapanen.info, Dominikaaninen tasavalta, matkapuhelin +1 809 980 7274 (tässä whatsapp), puhelin kesällä 044 5272 638, skype: pasikapanen. Aikaero -6 h talvella.

Teksti: Varapääkonsuli Pasi Kapanen, Dominikaaninen tasavalta ja yhteyspäällikkö Anne Hatanpää, Keskuskauppakamari

 

 

 

 

29.8.2017

Suurlähettiläät maakuntakiertueella: Latinalainen Amerikka ja Karibian alue tarjoavat kauppamahdollisuuksia

Suomen Latinalaisen Amerikan suurlähettiläät Säätytalolla 28.8.2017 pidetyssä seminaarissa.

Suomen suurlähettiläät ja Finpron edustajat jalkautuvat 29.-31.8.2017 yhdessä Keskuskauppakamarin ja kauppakamarien kanssa järjestettävällä kiertueella Helsingissä, Mikkelissä, Kuopiossa, Hyvinkäällä, Seinäjoella ja Porissa.

Ulkomaankauppa- ja kehitysministeri Kai Mykkänen avaa 28.8.2017 Helsingissä Latinalaista Amerikkaa ja Karibiaa koskevan seminaarin, joka aloittaa kiertueen.

Ulkomaankauppa- ja kehitysministeri Kai Mykkänen avaa 28.8.2017 Helsingissä Latinalaista Amerikkaa ja Karibiaa koskevan seminaarin, joka aloittaa kiertueen.

Latinalaisen Amerikan ja Karibian maat ovat tekemässä uudistuksia koulutus- ja ICT-sektorilla sekä energia-alalla. Suomalainen osaaminen telekommunikaation, uusiutuvan energian, energiatehokkuuden ja biotalouden alalla kiinnostaa alueella.

Uudessa poliittisessa tilanteessa EU pyrkii vahvistamaan kaupallisia ja poliittisia suhteita, mistä osoituksena ovat useat käynnissä olevat vapaakauppaneuvottelut. Toteutuessaan uudet sopimukset helpottavat suomalaisten yritysten toimintaa Latinalaisessa Amerikassa ja Karibialla.

”Talouden ja keskiluokan kasvu koko Latinalaisen Amerikan alueella kiihdyttää koulutus, terveydenhuolto- ja digitalisaatio-sektorien investointeja. Tämä avaa erinomaisia liiketoimintamahdollisuuksia näillä suomalaisten vahvoilla aloilla. Team Finland tarjoaa hyvää ensikäden tietoa näistä mahdollisuuksista alueella ja miten niihin pääsee kiinni”, kertoo Finpron Amerikoista vastaava johtaja Tomi Rauste.

”Kauppakamarit taas tarjoavat loistavan tietopaketin Latinalaisen Amerikan mahdollisuuksista yritysten kotiovelle. Yritysten on syytä rohkeasti katsoa myös näitä markkinoita ja hyödyntää toimivaa edustustojen ja Finpron vetoapua kohdemaissa”, toteaa Keskuskauppakamarin johtaja Timo Vuori.

Suomella on viisi suurlähetystöä alueella. Syyskuussa Suomia avaa suurlähetystön Kolumbiaan ja konsulaatin São Paoloon. Lisäksi Suomi hoitaa Karibian alueen maita Helsingistä käsin.

Suomalais-Latinalaisamerikkalaisen kauppayhdistyksen puheenjohtaja Kirsi Seppäläinen, Martti Malmivirta Eera Industrial Development’sta ja Aleksis Kataja Vaisala Oyj:stä keskustelivat siitä, mitä yrityksen tulee ottaa huomioon menestyäkseen Latinalaisessa Amerikassa.

Finprolla puolestaan on toimistot Mexico Cityssa, Limassa, Santiago de Chilessä ja São José dos Camposissa ja Rio de Janeirossa. Keskuskauppakamari hallinnoi 15 kauppayhdistystä, joista yksi on Suomalais-Latinalaisamerikkalainen kauppayhdistys.

19 kauppakamaria Suomessa edistävät yritysten kansainvälistymistä järjestämällä koulutusta, neuvontaa ja erilaisia tilaisuuksia ja myöntämällä ulkomaankaupan asiakirjoja.

”Latinalaisen Amerikan toimintaympäristössä suurlähetystöillä ja kaupallisilla toimistoilla on tärkeä rooli ovien avaajina ja arvovaltapalvelujen tuottajina”, muistuttaa Ari Mäki, Latinalaisen Amerikan ja Karibian yksikön päällikkö ulkoministeriöstä.

Suurlähettiläät ovat tavattavissa Mikkelissä ja Kuopiossa 29.8, Hyvinkäällä ja Seinäjoella 30.8. ja Porissa 31.8. Kiertueeseen kuuluu myös tutustumista paikalliseen yritystoimintaan Porissa, Raumalla ja Riihimäellä.

Team Finland Latam ja Karibia kiertue-esite 2017

Ulkoasiainministeriön Latinalaisen Amerikan ja Karibian yksikön päällikkö Ari Mäki, ari.maki@formin.fi, p. 040 753 6865,
Suomalais-Latinalaisamerikkalaisen kauppayhdistyksen sihteeri Anne Hatanpää, anne.hatanpaa@chamber.fi, p. 050 320 9539 ja
Kirsti Tarvainen, Manager, Finpro, kirsti.tarvainen@finpro.fi, p. 040 34 33 434.

 

24.8.2017

Beatriz Vega, Licentiate in Chemistry from Uruguay recalls her internship in Finland

My name is Beatriz Vega. I was born in Paysandú, Uruguay, I am a Licentiate in Chemistry graduated from the Universidad de la República (UdelaR) in Uruguay. In 2009, I arrived in Finland for a 6 months internship and I can’t believe that more than years have passed since that! I have been working at the Fibre and Cellulose Technology Laboratory, which is led by Prof. Fardim, in Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) in the city of Turku. My trip was possible thanks to the efforts of Prof. Mantero and Assoc. Prof. Menéndez and the financial support from ex-Botnia, ÅAU, and the Comisión Sectorial para la Investigación Científica (CSIC).

The possibility to come to Finland was a unique opportunity for me. I wanted to learn new knowledge at work, learn about Finnish culture, and enjoy the time with my family living in the Nordic country. I remember very clearly the day I arrived in Finland. My trip had started from Montevideo at +34 °C and my brother and his family received me with -11 °C in Helsinki.

I feel so grateful with all the experiences along these years. I have learned a lot at work, and met beautiful people who made me feel very appreciated and made me more confident person. The life in Finland had helped me to think outside the bottle and broaden my view.

In Finland, winters are long and winter-days are very dark, and that was not pleasant for me sometimes. However, I have learned that there is plus and minus in every country. In the case of Finland, hard weather conditions are compensated by many times by positive things. For example, I believe I am accurate in saying that “peace and harmony” are the hallmarks of the country. It is easy and safe to move everywhere by bike or public transportation, peak up your own berries or mushrooms in the middle of the forest, see the Northern lights, and join so many activities surrounded by awesome nature. In Finland, you can label personal-expensive-important items with your phone number or email address, and you will recover most of them if missed (this fact made my day so many times!). Excellent education level for everyone is another fact to be highlighted as very positive from Finland, and it is beautiful to see how much Fins care about education, especially for kids.

At the reception at Kalastajatorppa

I am currently working in the US for a short period during this summer, as a Visitor Scholar at the Forest Products Development Center, in Auburn University, Alabama. I will be back in Finland at the beginning of October to defend my thesis. In addition, and thanks to the prize awarded during the Innovation Catalyst Competition organized by Åbo Akademi the last July, I will have the opportunity to work in a short project which aim is to develop a glucose indicator system. After that period ends, I am not totally sure about my future home, but I am sure I will try to stay connected in one way or another to this amazing country.

Written by Beatriz Vega.

7.7.2017

New Tourism Developments in Mexico

Tourism in Mexico is a powerful engine in generating income and a great way to attract new investment and business opportunities. As you are aware, the development of the tourism industry in Mexico is growing fast and just last year it reached a record number of 35 million visitors, which ranks Mexico at 9th place worldwide.

This, of course, represents many growth opportunities for foreign companies that cater to the tourist industry, including, but not limited to, companies in sectors, such as: construction, specialized services, water and energy, decoration and interior design, among others.

We invite you to get familiarized with the new tourism developments in Mexico. Please feel free to browse the material prepared by FONATUR, the National Tourism Fund of Mexico, which aims to promote business opportunities in tourism for foreign companies:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ih7irkifxkwyf2m/AAADcxDBAszIAQb_mDdInRpFa?dl=0

FONATUR’s material include: general videos and presentations (English and Spanish) on the tourism industry in Mexico and new touristic developments, as well as location-specific information.

Please, Contact the Mexican Embassy in Finland for more information on this.

3.7.2017

ELAN: 23-24 October, Santiago, Chile – Technologies and Business Models to Face the Energy Challenges of the 21st Century

23-24 October, Santiago, Chile
Technologies and Business Models to Face the Energy Challenges of the 21st Century
Renewable energies involve technological challenges for all market players and imply scenarios that require comprehensive solutions in order to efficiently take advantage of available resources. This event offers an attractive space, with unique methodologies that will allow for a discussion around these challenges and business-enabling solutions.
Read more here.

3.7.2017

ELAN PROGRAMME (European and Latin American Business Services and Innovation)

ELAN

The ELAN PROGRAMME (European and Latin American Business Services and Innovation) is a European Union (EU) initiative that seeks to increase and diversify the EU economic presence in Latin America, by meeting the Latin American demand for knowledge and innovative technology. ELAN also aims to boost the opportunities that both markets offer for European and Latin American SMEs, through two interdependent strategies:

  • European and Latin American Business Services (ELAN Biz): Whose main objective is to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information services to European SMEs interested in doing business in strategic Latin American countries.
  • European & Latin American Technology Based Business Network (ELAN Network): Whose main purpose is to generate technology-based business opportunities between European and Latin American SMEs.

Welcome to the Elan Network!

The ELAN Network is a space for collaboration, co-generation and development of technology based business opportunities between Europe and Latin America. It brings together key European and Latin American research and innovation actors (R&I), who promote technology based transformation processes and economic growth, in order to:

  • Promote the generation of technology based business opportunities between European and Latin American SMEs, enhancing R&D results with a business model that responds to market demands.
  • Promote the exchange of knowledge, technology transfer and co-creation processes to foster the competitiveness of SMEs and an equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.
  • Accompany innovative SMEs in their efforts to transfer technology to new geographical markets.

ELAN Network will be organising networking events to generate Technology Based Business Opportunities in:

  • The European Union
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Peru

With a special focus on the these sectors:

 

The ELAN Network: an engine that drives the co-generation of technology-based business opportunities between Europe and Latin America.

CONTACT POINT

If you want to collaborate in the co-creation of TBBOs, please contact us using this form:

EVENTS CALENDAR 

NEWSLETTER

If you want to receive the ELAN Newsletter regularly, please register here

 

Source: http://www.elannetwork.org/content/about-us

12.6.2017

The 33rd International Conference of Dairy Cattle will take place in Guadalajara City, Mexico on August 23-24th, 2017.

This is one of the main events relating to the dairy industry since 32 years, and it is the ideal place to establish or strengthen partnerships, technological transfers, trade, as well as brand positioning. The event is aimed at ranchers and breeders, dairy associations, financial and governmental entities, and the private sector.

Without a doubt the Conference is the go-to place for the dairy industry and Mexico and a great place to expand your business and your network.

I would very much appreciate if you could forward this information to any potential interested parties affiliated to chambers of commerce and trade association.

More information is available at  www.cigal.biz,

Should any potential attendee have more questions, she/he can write to: ruth@cigal.biz or yohualli@cigal.biz

Read more about the event in Mexico

16.5.2017

Brazil under transformation

Brazil has faced several political and economic challenges. Now the economy is expected to grow after 3 years of recession. The government is prioritizing resumption of growth and reduction of unemployment. Reforms and privatization programs will offer companies business opportunities in the coming years.

Brazil is the largest country in South America as well as in Latin America with a population of 206 million people. Brazil is geopolitically stable with a diversified economy. The country is rich in natural resources and has a large domestic market. Brazil is a country of young people which has democratic institutions, an independent Judiciary system and a free press. The EU – Mercosur Trade Agreement is expected to be signed this year.

Going through difficult times

2016 was the second year of deep economic recession. Brazil hosted the World Olympics and impeachment process of President Dilma Rousseff was in final phase of judgement at the same time. Labor Party suffered heavy losses in nationwide municipal elections. Under Brazil’s constitution, Mr Michel Temer, the 75-year-old law professor became acting president after the Senate voted in favor of Ms Rousseff’s impeachment.and formed a new party alliance with a shift from left/center tocenter/right. Mr Temer’s priorities are to reduce public sector deficit and implement pension system reform. He is also working on a proposal for the government to modernize the labor laws.

Brazil has gone through the worst-ever recession due to domestic challenges with over 14 million unemployed workers which has negatively affected family consumption and investments. Whereas the economic challenges have been domestic, the external situation has been comfortable with floating FX policy. Agribusiness has performed well during all these years.

Signs of recovery

To reach a primary surplus by 2020 the government is accelerating a program of privatizations, and reversing tax exemptions granted on payroll to 50 sectors by Dilma’s government, among other measures of fiscal restraint. Signs of recovery can already be seen: new jobs, banks reporting diminishing number of companies in credit recovery, inflation falling, Central Bank reducing interest rates, good results in agriculture sector and new season for privatization of roads, airports, and power concessions. Despite of the positive developments the government has to tackle with heavy corruption, too.

Return to market oriented policies, renewed privation policies and needed investments in infrastructure offer companies business opportunities. Renewable energy and technology are among many sectors which have high potential to grow. Economists expect the economy to grow by 0,5 per cent this year and 2.0 per cent in 2018.

Jan R. E. Jarne, Chairman of the FinnCham Brazil, made a presentation at the meeting of the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association in Helsinki on 10th May 2017.

Presentation can be read
Jarne Presentation_FinnCham_100517

Anne Hatanpää, secretary of the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association

8.5.2017

Bolivia develops its forestry and mining sectors

Bolivia is located in Western-Central South America. It is bordered to the North and East by Brazil to the Southeast by Paraguay, to the South by Argentina, to the Southwest by Chile, and to the Northwest by Peru. Bolivia is geographically the largest landlocked country in the Americas. Bolivia has more than 10 million inhabitants.

Bolivia is rich in natural resources such as natural gas, oil and metals. Bolivia has the largest lithium resources in the world and 2nd largest per capita gas reserves in Latin America. Gas is Bolivia’s main commodity export. The higher gas prices should support the economy this year, which is expected to grow by 3 – 4 percent. Bolivia aims to have sustained economic growth and maintain its International investment position (IIP) creditor.

Business and investment opportunities

The Plan for Economic and Social Development, estimates a public investment of approximately $us48.574 million in the period 2015-2020. It has provided a share of FDI, with 8 % of the GDP, which will be focused on projects in strategic sectors (oil, mining, energy, tourism, industry and services). The Economic and Social Development Plan preserve macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability: average GDP growth of 5.8% in the period 2015-2020, if a further deterioration in the global economy is observed, the average GDP growth rate will reduce to 5%.

5 strategic industrial complex will be implemented: Steel, gas, metallurgical, lithium and energy. 4,5 million national and 2,6 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Bolivia in 2020. Bioceanic train from Brasil through Bolivia to Peru is partly constructed and partly under projection to decrease time and costs in transporting goods and connected Bolivia to ports. Bolivia has a plan to plant 4,500 000 hectares forest between 2016 – 2030. Conciliation and Arbitration law number 708 protects the rights of investors. Investments may benefit from general and specific incentives granted by the State. Finnish companies are welcome to invest and offer knowhow and technology in forestry and mining sectors which are under development and can offer a lot of business opportunities.

Plan for Economic and Social Development

To maintain strong growth, assure continued poverty reduction and improve access to basic services, the Government of Bolivia approved the 2016-2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan in early 2016.

The Economic and Social Development Plan within the Framework of Integrated Development For Living Well (PDES, 2016-2020) of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, constitutes the strategic framework and prioritization of goals, results and actions to be developed in the third period of government of the Democratic Cultural Revolution, which is made on the basis of the Patriotic Agenda 2025 and the Program of Government 2015-2020.

Basis of the Economic Social Community Productive Model

  • Growth and development through natural resources use in favor of Bolivian people: Recovery of sovereignty on fiscal, monetary, financial and exchange rate policy in order to serve the economic and social development of the Bolivian people.
  • Economic surplus appropriation: The State takes control over strategic sectors’ surplus. The State directs the economy and regulates production, distribution and commercialization of goods and Services
  • Income redistribution: The economic surplus is redistributed particularly to reach the poor through Conditional Cash Transfer programmes (Juancito Pinto, Juana Azurduy and Dignity Rent,) public investment, inversely proportional salary increases, cross-subsidization and other measures.
  • Poverty eradication and inequality reduction: Implementation of policies aimed at eliminating social and economic exclusion prioritizing the collective Living Well.

H.E. Milton Soto, Ambassador the Plurinational State of Bolivia met with the representatives of the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association in Helsinki on 26th April 2017.

Anne Hatanpää, secretary of the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association

24.4.2017

Pacific Alliance and Finnish companies

The Pacific Alliance is an economic and cooperative integration mechanism between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Its main goal is to create a deep integration area that fosters growth, development and competitiveness for its member countries, by increasing the free movement of goods, services, capital, and people.

So far, the trade between Finland and the Pacific Alliance countries has been modest despite of the huge potential that these countries offer.

Why enter the Pacific Alliance markets?

In a global context marked by volatility, the slowing of the Chinese economy and the strong irruption of protectionism on both sides of the Atlantic, the Pacific Alliance stands as a solid block of economic integration within the Latin America region. Originally established in 2011, the Alliance is comprised by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, four of the continent’s most dynamic, open and resilient economies. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Pacific Alliance integrates two regional members of the OECD, Chile and Mexico, while Colombia and Peru are currently in the accession process.

These four countries have a combined population of 221 million and together account for almost 40% of the region’s GDP with an average growth rate of 2%. Furthermore, the Pacific Alliance as a block accounts for half of Latin America’s exports and it is the destination of 57% FDI flow to Latin America. Financial experts point at the Pacific Alliance as the eighth largest economy in the world and this is precisely the reason Finnish corporations and SMEs should shift their attention to the region.

The Pacific Alliance represents an important effort to foster and increase cooperation not only in the economic arena but specifically within it. Currently and since the entering into force of the Additional Protocol of the Framework Agreement in 2014, 92% of the commerce amongst the four countries is liberalized, giving the remaining 8% tariffs and accurate period to phase out. By 2030 all products will circulate freely between the four countries.

As an open-market region, one of our ineluctable priorities has been to expand the Pacific Alliance’s outreach to third markets, after all the Alliance is conceived as a gateway to the Asian region. Actually, the last ministerial meeting on March 14-15 in Viña del Mar (Chile) served to boost trade facilitation amongst the Asia Pacific countries like Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore or South Korea.

Mr. Eduardo Gálvez Carvallo, Ambassador of Chile to Finland, noted that the Pacific Alliance is an appealing region because it seeks to function externally as a unified commercial entity instead of a mere agglomeration of countries. “We have launched the paperless trade or one-stop window project to facilitate business between the countries of the alliance and we have moved forward in initiatives to deepen financial integration and regulation of foreign trade in the digital economy. A key example is the integration of the four countries’ stock markets into MILA, the Integrated Latin American Market, which is now the region’s largest bourse in terms of capitalization”.

The Pacific Alliance is one of the two largest blocs in Latin America. It is opening up, engaging and building partnerships, both regional and global. During the Chilean Presidency of the Pacific Alliance and in order to facilitate trade with all South American countries with outward economies, Chile has promoted special relations with Mercosur, the bloc constituted by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, among others, and Finland and Finnish companies are welcome to witness the flourishing of this region and join in by doing business within the four markets.

Experiences of Finnish companies in doing business in the Pacific Alliance region

Latin America is an attractive destination for investments and exports for Finnish companies. It is a modern and organized region enabling free moment of goods, services, capital and people. The Pacific Alliance has competitive advantages in mining, forest resources, energy, agriculture, and manufacturing. These fields also match well with the Finnish offering. The Pacific Alliance countries are also interested in the Finnish education system. Changes in regulations and legal framework offer vast business opportunities, and companies are advised to follow the developments in these sectors.

Numerous visits to meet potential customers are need in order to build up a new customer relation in Latin America. It is also good to have a local representative to overcome the geographical distance and maintain frequent contact with the customers. Legal and other qualified advisers are needed to help companies to understand the local business environment and its distinctive features. Since the bureaucracy in these countries can be time-consuming, the companies should have enough resources to manage the formality in communications and take care of legal paper work. Risk management should be regarded as an investment, and should be given enough attention at every stage of the activity to minimize and to control potential risks such as contracts. As Spanish language is widely used in Latin America, companies should be prepared to learn to communicate with the local language.

When entering the Latin American markets, it is wise to concentrate on one country at the time, not on the entire continent. To start and to maintain a successful business in Latin America takes a long-term commitment and needs active efforts to gain market shares. Market research should be done properly. The offered product or service should be the right one for the customer and adopted to the chosen market. In addition, the company and its sales people should have right mind-set and good ability to adapt to a new culture. After all, Latin America does not differ too much from the other markets. Doing homework is the key to business success in every market.

Written by Mr. Eduardo Gálvez Carvallo, Ambassador of Chile to Finland, Chile’s Pro Tempore Presidency of the Pacific Alliance 2016-2017 and Ms. Anne Hatanpää, Liaison Manager of the Finland Chamber of Commerce, and the Secretary for the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association.

The Pacific Alliance seminar was co-organized by the Embassies of Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Peru, Finpro and the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association on April 19, 2017 in Helsinki.

Attached please find the presentations of the seminar.

PROGRAM Pacific Alliance Seminar

PA – A new form of integration General Framework Eduardo Gálvez Carvallo

PA – Achievements in the Field of Economic Integration Marco Antonio Loustaunau Caballero

PA – Student exchange and visa facilitation Fulvia Elvira Benavides Cotes

PA – The External Relations of the Pacific Alliance and the Role of The Observer Countries Eduardo Chavarri García

Pöyry Oksanen Markku

Wartsila Suvisaari Sampo

Mint of Finland Kuusirati Sirpa

Finnvera Olli Markku

Finnish-Latin American Trade Association

Trade with Pacific Alliance

Closing – Haario Martti

24.3.2017

Latin America has a number of different trade blocs and multilateral organizations. Why is the Pacific Alliance special?

Interview with the Ambassador of Chile to Finlandia Mr. Eduardo Gálvez on 21.3.2017

One of the main differences is that the Pacific Alliance is not only the most outward-looking bloc in the region but it also goes far beyond trade as well. With its eyes on Asia, the Pacific Alliance seeks to function externally as a unified force promoting free trade with other countries and group of countries as well as deepening integration within the AP countries.

Another difference is the commercial and regulatory makeup of the bloc itself. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru all rank within the World Bank’s top 60 countries for ease of doing business and furthermore, the bloc has liberalized 92% of internal trade, with an agreement this year to bring that number to 100 which means there is a huge potential for trading within the region.

On a country-by-country basis what impact do you expect the alliance to have on the individual economies of the participating nations? For example, for Chile?

For Chile, the ultimate goal is to achieve competitiveness and sustained and inclusive economic growth with an economy open to the world, including through increased intraregional and extra-regional trade. This view is consistent with Chile’s policy of more than 20 years of becoming a trade hub towards Asia-Pacific, as well as a bridge between the Pacific and Atlantic markets given its geographical position.

As a region, during its first four years, the Pacific Alliance has made important achievements and has established itself as a stable, dynamic and innovative regional integration mechanism. As an example, while other economies in the region GDP grew an average of 1,8% in 2015, the Pacific Alliance countries grew an average of almost 3% during the same period.

What impact do you expect the alliance to have on Finland and Finnish companies?

The Pacific Alliance seminar comes at a crucial time. While a large number of growing markets are uneasy and volatile, and under the shadow of protectionist tendencies the countries of the Pacific Alliance stand out as a group of economies that are advancing with deep integration among themselves and at the same time promoting openness and free trade with other regions, including the European Union and certainly in the Asia Pacific region. This is a strong political message in favor of free trade as and engine for growth.

The seminar focuses on key sectors where private investors can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Alliance. These strategic sectors are: education, health, mining, oil and gas, value added manufacturing, electricity and renewable energies, financial services and digital connectivity and together they account for more than 50% of the GDP of the pacific Alliance.

There are definitely plenty of opportunities for Finnish companies in the Pacific Alliance markets so come and join us, we will have a seminar on the Pacific Alliance in Helsinki on April 19! Please, join us and learn more.

How do you see the future of possible Mercosur-Pacific Alliance cooperation?

Geographically, the Pacific Alliance is a privileged bloc. The nucleus of the world trade is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific and this fact is boosting and intensifying a gradual convergence between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur. The recent changes in the Brazilian and Argentine political scenes are indicative that this convergence between the two blocs may indeed become a reality in the future and certainly, there is a political will to advance quickly with practical measures to facilitate trade and integration.

Do you want to know more about the Latin American countries?

Finnish-Latin American Trade Association promotes trade and other commercial relations between Finland and Latin American countries. The target is to get more Finnish companies interested in the vast business opportunities the Latin American countries offer.

www.kauppayhdistys.fi

22.3.2017

Business opportunities in Argentina

The Embassy of Argentina informs about three calls for any potential parties interested in the following projects:

–  ”Technology for the national production of satellites”. This initiative seeks the development of experimental prototypes that serve as basis of knowledge for the subsequent final production in the satellite sector (Gimbal, CPU Module for on-board computer, input/output module for on-board computer, pyro-mechanical detonators and actuators, batteries).

More information (in Spanish) on the website: http://www.agencia.mincyt.gob.ar/frontend/agencia/convocatoria/387

– ”Technology applied to predict disasters”.  This initiative seeks to develop a technological platform that facilitates supplying forecast services by means of high resolution arrays (5 km. or more) throughout Argentina (basic infraestructure and numerical modelling system).

More information (in Spanish) on the website: http://www.agencia.mincyt.gob.ar/frontend/agencia/convocatoria/388

– ”Innovation in Aquaculture”. This initiative focuses on the design, development and installation of an Integrated Multi-trophic Marine Farm (steelheads, Macrocystis algae and blue mussels), in other words, the cultivation of several species in sea.

More information (in Spanish) on the website: http://www.agencia.mincyt.gob.ar/frontend/agencia/convocatoria/386