Malaysians queue up to find Finnish partners

Finnpartnership and The Malaysian Investment Development Authority, MIDA, jointly organized Doing Business With Finland seminars in Johor Bahru, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur during 15-18 March. In Ipoh Invest Perak was seminal in hosting the event. Embassy of Finland in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur reports.

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Finnish business seminar at the Ecoworld premises in Johor Bahru was a great success with an impressive turnout.

The main objective of these seminars was to connect Malaysian and Finnish companies, promote investment opportunities and promote Finland as business destination of choice.

Finnpartnership is a business partnership program that promotes business cooperation between companies in Finland and in developing markets. It grants financial support for Finnish business activities in developing markets in addition to offering a matchmaking service. The organization is funded by the Foreign Ministry of Finland. Finland has a heavy emphasis on economic diplomacy utilizing the Team Finland network that brings all state-funded actors under one umbrella.

Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Malaysia, Teemu Laakkonen, opened the seminars by giving his remarks on the Finnish activities in Malaysia. After that the floor was given to the hosts. This was followed by two Finnpartnership presentations, whose goal was to discuss the matchmaking service.

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The Finnpartnership matchmaking service allows Malaysian companies to find a suitable business partner in their respective field in Finland. The service is free of charge. All a company has to do is to sign up a form at the Finnpartnership website and they will do the rest. Finnish companies especially in the Cleantech, IT and education sectors were promoted this time around. Manufacturing was also discussed as many of the attending Malaysian companies represented this sector.

Birgit Nevala from Finnpartnership was happy to see the events surpass the goals set for them. Especially in Ipoh and Johor the local companies formed long queues in front of the matchmaking table to get their turn in finding a suitable Finnish business partner.

The results of the events look promising, although this is only the first step in forging lasting partnerships. Dozens of Finnish companies have already started discussions with their Malaysian counterparts and some Cleantech companies are coming over to meet their prospective partners. Companies in waste management, water purification and early childhood education sectors were the ones that attracted the most interest.

Birgit Nevala mentioned that compared to previous seminars held in other developing markets Finnpartnership now had more companies to offer thanks to the close cooperation with the Team Finland growth programs of the Finnish internationalization office, Finpro. The goal of the said programs is to seize business opportunities abroad. Any Finnish company in the offered areas of business can be a part of them.

Finnpartnership seminars are usually held in the same country on two consecutive years. Hopefully we´ll be back next year with many more closed business deals to tell about!

By Aapo Happonen, Project Assistant, Embassy of Finland in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

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