ANNUAL REPORT 2019 – 45th year of activities for the association



The board of the Finnish – Arab Business Association


In 2019 the board consisted of the following persons:



Tytti Sirola, Bluet Oy Ltd


Vice Chair

Topi Helle, Finnish Water Forum



Jouni Maaranto, Finntrepo Oy

Timo Karppinen, OP

Seppo Keränen, Business Finland Oy

Päivi Käri-Zein, individual member

Iiro Heikkilä, Patria Land Systems Oy

Tuomo Nuottimäki, Glaston Corporation

Tommi Rantanen, Halton Marine Oy

Juha Manninen, Temet Oy

Suvi Lehikoinen, Stora Enso

Jonne Pöyhtäri, Export Maker Oy

Karim Ali, Consilta

Ms Jenni Isola from Finland Chamber of Commerce served as the Secretary for the Finnish – Arabic Business Association.


The board of the Finnish – Arab Business Association met four times in 2019: 5.2.2019, 25.4.2019, 15.8.2019, and 25.11.2019.


Activities of the Finnish – Arab Business Association in 2019


Annual meeting

The annual meeting was held on April 25, 2019. 16 people were present.

After the annual meeting at 16.00, the association welcomed Mr. Jere Peltonen as a guest speaker. Mr. Peltonen serves as an international security advisor at the Security Service at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The topic for Mr. Peltonen’s speech was: “Current operational security issues in the MENA area”.

Member events


24.1.2019 the association organized its first member morning of the year at Allas Sea Pool, hosted by Bluet Oy and Tytti Sirola. Eight members were present at the event.


29.3.2019 the association organized an Arab Business Culture seminar together with Haaga – Helia University of Applied Sciences.


8.5.2019 the association organized an event together with Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce on the topic of: Business in Arabic countries; case studies Iraq and Afghanistan, where the speaker was Mr Mike Lynch from British Special Forces in the SAS. Eight members were present at the event.


4.6.2019 there was another member morning on the topic of Dubai, hosted by Fly Dubai and Elina Boman. The event was organized at restaurant Ultima in Helsinki, and 11 members were present. Severi Keinälä from Business Finland, Finland’s Commissioner to Dubai Expo 2020 also gave a presentation at the event.


14.8.2019 Finland Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs organized an Africa- themed event, were the new Africa-network was officially formed. The speakers at the event were 12 Finnish Ambassadors to African countries. 80 people attended the event.


12.9.2019 a delegation from Oman Chamber of Commerce visited the association. 12 members were present.


24.9.2019 the association participated in Arab Business Culture seminar organized by Haaga – Helia University of Applied Sciences, and board member Päivi Käri-Zein. Speakers included Chair of the association Tytti Sirola, and member Katja Boutou from KB Nordic. About 70 people attended the seminar.


12.11.2019 a member Temet Oy hosted a member morning. Speaker and host at the event was board member Juha Manninen. Six members were present at the event.

Other activities


During the activity year the members of the association were regularly informed about events organized by partners such as Team Finland, SARAB, and Haaga -Helia. Members were sent topical information about trade and business between Finland and the MENA- region.


The board met with Ambassadors from the Arabic countries to Finland, Finland’s Ambassadors to Arab countries, and representatives from the Foreign Ministry.


The association participated in Team Finland delegation to UAE in October 2019. Eleven company representatives from water, energy, and cleantech industries participated in the trip, as well as ten other delegates from Business Finland, Chambers, and the Finnish Embassy in UAE.


Main source of information for the association members is the website at




At the end of 2019 the association had 63 members (60 in the end of 2018), out of which 46 were corporate members (42 in the end of 2018), 15 were individual members (15 in 2018), and 2 were honorary members.





Membership fees in 2019 were 200,- euros for corporate members and 50,- euros for individual members. The association collected 9 050,00 euros in membership fees in 2019. A surplus of 341,29 euros was recorded in 2019.




Finland Chamber of Commerce handled the administrative functions of the association during 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2019.




In Helsinki, April 2020

Finnish – Arab Business Association SAKY ry