Finland-Japan Business Seminar and Networking Event

May 2016

Taking the opportunity of the visit to Japan by Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn on May 18, JETRO held a program titled “Finland-Japan Business Seminar and Networking Event: Displaying Finnish Expertise as a Hub for a Digital & Connected World.” During the seminar, speeches were delivered by the following guest speakers: Finnish Economic Minister Olli Rehn; the Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Nokia Corporation, Minna Aila; and four representatives from departments of FINPRO, a public organization consisting of Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. The speeches covered business opportunities related to the Internet of Things and connected cars*, as well as introductions of the Finnish companies attending, which are active in the digital and connected world. The event was joined by around 30 attendees from Finnish companies and organizations, and 128 attendees from the Japan side.

Hope for business expansion in both Finland and Japan

At the beginning of the seminar, JETRO Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige gave opening remarks and touched on the following: the strength in world leading innovation which both Finland and Japan possess, a shared perception of innovation on which both countries place great value, and a growing number of overseas companies establishing R&D sites in Japan due to a necessity to develop products closer to Japanese manufacturers in the automotive field. Through his speech, he expressed his hope that this seminar would be a catalyst for the promotion of cooperation between companies from both countries and FDI into Japan by Finnish companies.

From the Finnish side, Economic Minister Rehn explained that Finnish ICT-related companies have been focusing efforts on developing fifth generation mobile communication technology (5G), and are capable of providing this technology to contribute greater value to products and services of customer companies, including those from Japan. While showing recognition of the fact that, particularly in the automotive field, Japan is not only a massive market but also plays an important role in internationalizing manufacturing as a global hub, he also expressed his hope for business expansion in Japan through collaboration between Finnish and Japanese companies.

Opening remarks by JETRO Chairman Ishige

Welcome remarks by Finnish Minister Rehn

World-leading Finnish companies in IT industry

After Finnish Economic Minister Rehn’s speech, Minna Aila, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Nokia—a major global IT company based in Finland—illustrated her company’s efforts in the development of 5G technology by giving examples of experiments related to connected cars and innovation in the manufacturing scene utilizing artificial intelligence.

In addition, FINPRO gave explanations about the current status of Finland in the fields of the Internet of Things, connected cars and ICT, and about expectations toward business expansion through collaboration with Japanese companies. Among their presentations, FINPRO Program Director Mikko Koskue, who spoke on connected cars, emphasized the competitiveness of Finnish companies by mentioning that they have been deeply involved in supplying cutting-edge technologies for global car makers, in spite of the fact that there are no car makers in Finland itself.

From JETRO, Jun Washizawa; Deputy Director of the Europe, Russia and CIS Division within the Overseas Research Department; gave a presentation about Finland’s economic climate and the experiences of Japanese companies operating in the country.

After the seminar, a networking event was held among around 20 Finnish companies active in the fields of the Internet of Things and connected cars and Japanese companies. They engaged in lively discussions, exchanging information about their products and technologies.

JETRO will continue to distribute information related to business trends of Europe, including Finland, as well as provide opportunities for business matching.

* Connected car: a next generation vehicle equipped with IT functions similar to those of smartphones, enabling connection to the Internet.

More than 150 attendees listening to presentations

Networking session between Finnish and Japanese sides


Date May 18, 2016
Venue JETRO Headquarters (Tokyo)
Organizer Commercial Section of Embassy of Finland in Japan, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Opening Opening remarks    Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, JETRO
Welcome remarks Dr. Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland
Keynote speech “NOKIA Visions toward 5G Era”
Minna Aila, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, NOKIA Corporation
“Introduction of Key Competences of Finnish IoT and Big Data Cluster and Opportunities for Japanese Companies”
Reijo Smolander, Program Director, FINPRO
“Introduction of Key Competences of Finnish MaaS (Mobility as a Service) Cluster and Opportunities for Japanese Companies”
Mikko Koskue, Program Director, FINPRO
“Opportunities for Japanese Companies in ICT & Digitalization Sector in Finland”
Kimmo Ojuva, Senior Advisor, FINPRO
“Experiences of Japanese Companies Operating in Finland”
Jun Washizawa, Deputy Director, Europe, Russia and CIS Division, Overseas Research Department, JETRO
Closing remarks Petri Peltonen, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland