FITCE – Doing Business With the World

Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo was organized in Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale October 12-16th.
As part of the FITCE, Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness and Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development organized a VIP event on Tuesday October 13th.

The event was especially organized to meet Consul Generals, Trade Commissioners and Bi-National Chambers of South Florida and to get to know about top international trade opportunities with the participating countries.

We took part to the convention and represented Finland. The Honorary Consul of Finland, Mr. Peter Makila was invited to hold a speech at the VIP Reception of the Bi-National Chambers on the evening.

In his speech, Mr. Makila brought to the attention the most important export and import products between Finland and the US.

Trade between Finland and the US

US is one of Finland’s most important trade partners, outside Europe US is the second biggest trade partner. There are over 200 Finnish sister companies in the US, and their turnover is estimated to be almost 16 billion dollars.

The Finnish exports to the US in 2014 were worth $4.3 billion. The Finnish imports from US to Finland were worth $2.5billion. Both imports and exports were on the rise.

The top Finnish imports from the US are chemical substances and products (20.7%), second biggest sector is engines & industrial machinery and equipment (14.8%). Third biggest group is electrical systems and equipment (14.8%).

The top Finnish exports to the US are engines & industrial machinery and equipment (21.6%), paper & pulp (18.6%) and chemical substances & products (15.4%). Source: Finnish Customs.

Success Story – Happy Or Not

We have a great example among our chamber members, HappyOrNot which was founded in 2009 by Ville Levaniemi and Heikki Vaananen. It is headquartered in Finland, and its subsidiary is located in West Palm Beach.

HappyOrNot service helps organizations to develop their customer and experience and performance by providing an award-winning service and technology for continuous satisfaction level monitoring and reporting. HappyOrNot turns customer experience and employee satisfaction into one of the main Key Performance Indicators of any company.

How it started:
The idea of HappyOrNot was born in 90´s when Co-Founder Heikki Väänänen, about 15 yrs old, received rude service from the sales clerk of the computer store in his hometown every time he visited the store. This trickered an idea: an easy and anonymous way that would directly reach the director of the whole store chain. The button that could be pressed to report about the problem in the local store, any time.

About 15 years later, in 2008, Heikki revisited the idea with his business colleague Ville Levaniemi and this time with much more serious intent. Background in the software and gaming business together with an extensive business network, helped HappyOrNot to take off rapidly in Finland. The first clients in Finland were acquired in 2009: one of the leading retail chains and the leading banking and Insurance company.

From the “panic button”, the concept evolved into a service it is today – a continuous, measurable Key Performance Indicator of customer and employee satisfaction for multiple industries globally.

The company has been developing rapidly and its turnover for this year is estimated to reach USD 6.5million. The device from HappyorNot is in several major airports in Europe and US as well. They also have the device in NASA’s Kennedy Space Center here in Florida.

HappyOrNot has reached many awards, one of the most remarkable one being InnoFinland award which was handed and awarded by the President of Finland in 2010.

We are glad to share the success story of our member!

Event outcome

The event was a great opportunity for us to introduce Finland and FACC to the participants, and to get to know consular and business people from the region.

We listened to 35 countries’ presentations regarding their trade relations with Florida, and it surely was interesting! Among others, we met the Consulate General of Germany, Consulate General of Netherlands, Spanish Trade Commission, Vice Consul and Chamber of Commerce of Sweden and many others. List of all the FITCE participants.

Check out pictures from the convention. We were happy to attend the FITCE and hopefully we’ll be there next year as well!

DSCN1696FACC and Finland at FITCEFitce speeches


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