What? A whole year of Monkey Business ahead!

The Year of the Monkey is about to start soon. Monkey business is defined to be silly, stupid and time-wasting. However, the business during the Year of the Monkey shouldn’t have anything to do with Monkey business. It is said that you must outsmart the monkey for having good return on your investments. We need to be prepared also for quick changes and misfortune in our goals. But isn’t this just the current world we are dealing with? Business continues as usual and this year will bring many interesting opportunities.

Last December the fashion project I carried out for Finland – Hong Kong Trade Association together with #INLAND project in Hong Kong was awarded the best initiative award by HKTDC and Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide. This year will be fashionable year as well. China and Hong Kong are calling for Finnish designers from fashion and lifestyle industries. If you are a designer or representative of design brand thinking of expanding your markets to China and/or Hong Kong, this is a great chance to learn more about those markets and find new buyers. Field trip to Korea is also in the plans.

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Finnish fashion presented in Hong Kong Fashion Week 2015. (Photo: Janne Lax)

Last year I also took 5 Finnish food companies to participate Asia’s biggest food exhibition, SIAL China in Shanghai. We had a national pavilion by Food from Finland program that gained very positive feedback with its Scandinavian pure and trendy design and of course, natural and tasty Finnish food products! Kiantama’s Biokia bilberry powder also gained success. It was nominated one of the 11 finalists in the SIAL innovation competition among 94 preselected products. This year we’ll make Food from Finland participation even bigger. We will participate with 100 m2 department introducing ca. 10 Finnish food brands. SIAL China will attract around 66,000 visitors this year and over 2,900 exhibitors from all around the world. This is THE event to meet with the local importers, distributors and retailers. If you are interested, please do be in touch!

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SIAL Innovation finalist – Panu Rautiainen from Kiantama

Totally new opening will be the participation to Vinexpo Hong Kong in late May 2016. We will introduce Food from Finland pavilion with leading Finnish spirits manufacturers. Beautiful design and unique, fresh aromas from our Northern gem will be introduced to audience in Hong Kong. Vinexpo is the leader in wine and spirits exhibitions in Asia Pacific region with 18 years of experience. Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 will welcome over 1,300 exhibitors from 34 countries. Nearly 20,000 importers as well as buyers from department stores, hotels, restaurants, wine shops, travel retailers are expected to visit Vinexpo this year. Bring your booze and gan bei with us in Hong Kong!

My other China businesses continue during the Monkey year as usual. We conduct partner search, relationship management, market research and quality inspections in China on daily basis. Last year the regional South Savonia project for China turned out to be a success. 4 companies from Mikkeli and Savonlinna found Chinese co-operation partners for import and export activities and had flourishing meetings with them. Companies are actively involved in China business now.

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Meeting with Shaoxing city, the friendship city of Mikkeli.

This new Chinese year might be The Year of the Monkey, but most certainly won’t be a year of the monkey business! We keep the wheels rolling and continue the active development of Finland – China collaboration.

Happy Chinese New Year! 恭贺新禧!

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