The past days have been intense and emotional. Here are some thoughts to close the historic week and to position ourselves for the upcoming changes.
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president was an event unlike any other. I don’t think the world has ever experienced a political ascension so universally interesting and riveting. News-media outlets everywhere broke visitor records. There seemed to be no one, including my hairdresser and every cab driver, who wouldn’t have felt the need to make sense of the developing story.
So, all week this week, the phones were ringing off the hook at Amcham. Some of the questions were directly work-related. Some were invitations to us, as representatives of the international business community in Finland, to discuss the developments in the media and in member events. Some journalists were looking for American citizens for comments, and, in our diverse team, we have some of those, too, of course. The rest of the questions probably fell somewhere between personal interests in the U.S. political system and individual expertise in specific industries.
We took every call. As citizens of the world, we pitched in. Luckily, we also had expert visitors, Rick Dunham and Anne Mathias, who, as Washington insiders and experienced commentators, were able to put a number of things into perspective confidently and convincingly.
To carry out that kind of a discussion is one of the reasons for which we exist. We have close to 20 experts in the team, who follow economic trends and spot opportunities. We bring together foreign investors, foreign talent and expats, open the doors to the market and make them instant insiders. We have business-development programs from the Nordic presence and U.S. expansion to defense industry and life sciences. Changes in the United States will inevitably have tremendous impacts on everyone’s business environment, so we’d better be on top of that story.
The heat of this week’s news cycle highlighted our rather unique position. We are at a tremendous liberty to participate in the discussion. As a non-political, non-governmental and member-funded association, our mission is to make Finland a more globally savvy and connected market. This week’s efforts fit the mission perfectly.
People sometimes mistakenly think of Amcham as a bilateral chamber of commerce. That’s understandable. In this changing environment, we as an organization, however, stand for more than just economic relations between two countries or the overall business success of our members.
The name Amcham stands for Ambition Champions. We represent member companies from 20 different industries, headquartered in 20 different countries. We may have an office in New York, but in January we will also have one in Stockholm.
As an organization, we won’t ask where you’re coming from. We want to know where you’re headed. And then we champion your ambition and welcome you to the community. As a community, we stand for openness, respect, diversity and a dynamic business environment. We are ready and willing to make sense of the world and then go and engage with it.