Helsinki – the gateway between Asia, America and Europe – is a fast developing business, logistics and transport hub. Infrastructure developments and increased air traffic is helping Finland open up to more investments. It’s also placing Helsinki at the epicenter of the New North – a marketplace of 50 million consumers.

A strategic fit for Amcham’s Rookie of the Year – Finnair.

“The New North concept is about finding our place – we live here – and developing it to improve the country and the region,” says Finnair’s CEO Pekka Vauramo.

“It’s about recognizing opportunities for growth. Amcham’s doing a great job to make this happen and Finnair has a role to play in enabling our region’s future prosperity.”

Pekka made the comments at the recent Elections, Trade and New North business briefing hosted at Finnair’s new airport HQ. It is home to an efficient new fleet of Airbus aircraft, including the sizeable A350 XWB, the first in Europe, set to take to the skies this fall.

Hosting business sessions and advocating issues on behalf of all members has helped land Finnair the Rookie of the Year Award. The accolade recognizes companies which have hit the ground running during their first year of Amcham membership.

Being active in the community delivers clear business benefits, says Amchampion and Finnair Public Affairs Director Hanna Laurén, who leads Amcham’s policy action team.

“Amcham is good value for money, as you say in business. You will find the connections. We do a lot of business with the new entrants to the Finnish markets, the pharma sector, for example, need our cargo services.”

“Amcham is also very relaxed, very inviting, and very open. You can easily voice your concerns and suggestions, be innovative, and find like-minded partners and people.”

Solution Seekers

Innovative thinking, attracting foreign investment and improving market access are key priorities for Amcham’s 12-member Policy Committee, which Hanna chairs.

“As a company, community and society we need to be smarter, quicker, and try new ways of thinking. We can’t just follow, we have to lead and do things differently. It’s about coming up with solutions and ideas that can be implemented without eight years of formal process.”

On a personal level, Amcham was a ‘soft landing’ for Hanna when she returned to Finland after more than 15-years professionally abroad.

“I met the international community, it was very easy to blend in. It took away the culture shock! And still, every time I come to an Amcham event, I meet new people. You can see it in person. It’s never the same old bunch.”

So what are you waiting for? Come and meet some of the faces of our international business community, including award runners-up Kokoro & Moi, P&G and Tata Consultancy Services, at our upcoming business sessions.