An interview with Dr. Markus Bolhàr-Nordenkampf, Director of Energy Sales and Service Operations, Valmet, is now online! The interview is subtitled in English.
An interview with Thomas Haneder, Tax Advisor / Partner at TPA Group is now online! The interview is subtitled in English.
Our popular networking events aim to provide our members and guests a possibility to network and get to know interesting local and international companies.
The first networking event of the year 2020 was all about the Austrian art of brewing. This time, we had the opportunity to visit the brand new restaurant brewery Stöckl im Park, the sister location of the famous Viennese brewery Salmbräu. Our host was Anne Nikulainen Welledits, the Finnish authorized signatory of both locations.
The evening was opened by the speech of the Ambassador of Finland Pirkko Hämäläinen. Thereafter, the guests got to taste freshly poured beers accompanied by a selection of delicious starters, followed by an exclusive tour in the brewery’s facilities led personally by the CEO Albert Welledits. The brewing equipment is the most modern and ecological of its kind and really fascinating to look at. Mr. Welledits blew the guests away with his high level of expertise and conveyed his knowledge of modern beer production with wit and charm.
The evening was very successful, and around 35 guests participated in the event. The evening was rounded off with a few more Austrian beers: Märzen, Pils, Lager, Zwickl…
5G, Digitalisation – the Global Networks
EcoTalk is a shared event format of the Embassy of Finland, FINNCHAM Austria and the Sylvi Kekkonen Foundation.
The evenings are a mixture of discussions over the newest economic trends, musical performances of young Finnish artists, and informal networking.
This time we focused on how 5G and digitalisation are transforming our economic and working environments. The event took place at the residence of the Embassy of Finland.
The evening was opened by the speech of the Ambassador of Finland, Pirkko Hämäläinen. Thereafter, there was a musical performance by the Sylvi Kekkonen foundation scholarship awardees pianist Johannes Piirto and violin player Juho Valtonen.
The panelists of the roundtable discussion were Peter Wukowits (CEO Nokia Österreich), Manfred Immitzer (CEO Porsche Informatik), and Martin Resel (Chief Customer Officer Enterprise, A1 Telekom Austria AG). All three companies have a leading position in the development and implementation of the 5G technology. The moderator was Honorary Consul Ferdinand Auersberg. The discussion was lively, and there was also numerous questions from the audience.
The second part of the musical performance was powerful, yet at the same time emotional.
The evening was rounded up with typical Finnish dishes and drinks, whereby the guests continued with further in-depth discussions.
On the 12th of September 2019, FINNCHAM Austria opened the autumn season by a Business Update that was organised together with the Embassy of Finland and Business Finland. The event offered the participants a comprehensive overview of the coming events of all three organisations. Around 30 guests and FINNCHAM network members participated in the event.
At the beginning of the evening, the President of FINNCHAM Austria, Johannes Axnix, welcomed the guests and handed the word to Outi Saarikoski, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland. After official greetings, Mrs. Saarikoski gave an informative talk on the activities and responsibilities of the Finnish Embassy in Vienna as well as on the Finnish EU Presidency.
The second presentation was held by Trade Commissioner Werner Merzeder (Business Finland), who presented interesting facts and current statistics on trade between Finland and Austria.
Subsequently, Sanna Sipilä-Axnix, advisor at Business Finland, informed the participants about the events organized by Business Finland in the fall of 2019. Particularly noteworthy: the Vienna Design Week, with Finland as a guest country.
FINNCHAM Austria President Johannes Axnix also provided a compact overview of the forthcoming activities, such as the next economic roundtable “EcoTalk”.
After the presentations, it was time to continue the evening with networking and lively discussions. The guests enjoyed the excellent wines of the Dürnberg vineyard, accompanied by delicious Italian snacks and sweets.
FINNCHAM Austria is looking forward to seeing you soon at one of our next events!
Through the ages
50 Years of Economic Relations between Finland and Austria
Over 100 guests participated in our big anniversary party on the 6th of June 2019. The event took place in the beautiful Weingut am Reisenberg in Grinzing, high above the hills of Vienna.
The event was officially opened by the Ambassador H.E. Pirkko Hämäläinen. Thereafter followed an exciting speech „Finland’s economy in the change of time“. The speech was given by none other than the Chairman of the Board of Business Finland, Pertti Korhonen.
The next highlight of the evening was the panel discussion. The panel was led by KURIER editor-in-chief Helmut Brandstätter, as leaders from Finnish companies in Austria passionately discussed the following themes: Technology & Innovation, Education, general trends, as well as differences in mentality in the daily business.
The performance of soprano Emilia Vesalainen-Pellas (piano: Esa Ylönen) was very emotional. She captured her audience with a combination of her light appearance and the unbelievable strength of her voice and its precision. The performance of Vesalainen-Pellas and Ylönen culminated in the Finnish national anthem — during which none of the guests could sit still.
Also the musicians of Duo Sattuma should definitely be mentioned. Duo Sattuma provided the guests an interesting repertoire, which was a mixture folk and classical music, throughout the evening.
After midnight there was also an after party in the cocktail bar “The Sign”.
Metso is a world-leading industrial company offering equipment and services for the sustainable processing and flow of natural resources. Metso is headquartered in Finland, and the company plays an important role also for the industry in Austria. On the 25th of April, an exciting company presentation evening was hosted by Metso Austria for the FINNCHAM network members and guests in Vienna-Erdberg.
After the welcoming words by Johannes Axnix, President of FINNCHAM Austria, the evening was officially opened by the welcome speech of Pirkko Hämäläinen, the Ambassador of Finland. Ambassador Hämäläinen has been in office since January 2019, and it was a great pleasure for FINNCHAM network members to meet her personally at the event.
Subsequently, there were highly interesting presentations about Metso and its products and services. Maria Panwinkler, Managing Director of Metso Austria, gave a comprehensive overview of the mission and history of the entire Metso Group, including highlights on the company’s strategic focus areas. Thomas Wagner, Regional Sales and Service Manager, presented Metso’s mineral business. Especially fascinating were the video demonstrations of the milling and processing equipment of waste from construction and industry. The last presentation was held by sales manager Max Wandl. The participants learned exciting details about the variety of industrial valves and their different uses.
After the presentations it was time for networking and snacks from a delicious buffet, and the evening continued with intensive discussions.
FINNCHAM Austria would like to thank Metso Austria for this great and informative event!
On 20.3.2019, FINNCHAM Austria had the pleasure of starting the spring season by organising a company presentation evening at the leading tax advisory and auditing company TPA. The guests were invited to the modern premises of the TPA headquarters in Vienna’s Praterstraße. The content of the program was specifically tailored for the international FINNCHAM network.
The evening started with greetings from Tuula Nidetzky, who has during the years been tightly involved in shaping the development of TPA together with her husband. An introduction to the event was also given by Johannes Axnix, President of FINNCHAM Austria, after which the evening was officially opened by the welcome speech of Outi Saarikoski, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland. Thereafter, the program continued with exciting lectures on tax and economic topics by the TPA experts Dieter Pock, Wolfgang Höfle, Monika Seywald and Monika Schuster-Kivalo.
The topics of the evening were without a doubt relevant to each of the participants, as the program contained useful tips for both business leaders and expats. After the presentations, the guests continued more detailed discussions on tax-relevant questions, and the evening ended with networking by snack and drinks.
FINNCHAM Austria would like to thank TPA for hosting this informative evening!
More information about TPA:
EcoTalk is a joint event format of the Finnish Embassy, FINNCHAM Austria and Sylvi Kekkonen Foundation.
The topic of the second EcoTalk of the year 2018 was “Disruption or Transformation? – how strategic changes accelerate industrial digitalization”. The event was organised on November 13 2018 at the residence of the Finnish Ambassador.
The members of the roundtable discussion represented both Finnish and Austrian companies: Sabine Lutz (Regional Sales Manager Europe, Nokia), Manfred Heger (Innovation & Portfolio Manager, Wienerberger) and Christian Hofmann (Topic Owner Industrie, Manufacturing u. Forstwirtschaft, Tieto). All three leaders not only discussed new trends and technologies, but also presented concrete examples of new, innovative products and business opportunities. As the moderator of the roundtable discussion functioned honorary consul Ferdinand E. Auersperg. The topic raised plenty of interest among the audience, and the panel members got numerous questions and suggestions. The exceptional atmosphere of the evening was accentuated by the lively musical performances of the pianist Johannes Piirto.
The event was closed in the early evening by informal networking and wonderful discussions, enjoying delicious canapes and drinks.
On 17 October 2018 the members of FINNCHAM Austria visited Pöyry Austria, the Austrian subsidiary of the Finnish company Pöyry.
Pöyry provides intelligent and sustainable consulting and engineering solutions for the energy- industry- and infrastructure sectors. The service portfolio of Pöyry covers management consulting, as well as the entire project cycle from project planning and implementation to plant operation support. One of the main focus areas of Pöyry Austria is the international hydro consulting and water management. The services related to digitalisation, adjusting to the climate change as well as resource efficiency have an increasing importance in the field.
The evening began with the welcome speech of Hannu Kyröläinen, Ambassador of Finland. Thereafter Thomas Kriesch, the CEO of Pöyry Austria, gave a highly interesting presentation about the history, mission and current project landscape of the company. Pöyry manages an impressive project portfolio around the globe, and Ernst Zeller (Prokurist, Head of Hydro / Global Head Marketing and Sales Hydropower and Renewables) and Martin Fuchs (Head of Hydro Consulting) gave the guests a deeper insight into the topic in their inspiring presentations. It was particularly interesting for the participants to hear, how Pöyry helps its customers to manage challenges that are caused for example by the climate change.
Afterwards the guests had an opportunity for networking – and so ended the evening with intensive discussions, drinks and a buffet.
The Winners are Planmeca Group/Plandent and ScanLang
The winners of this year‘s Business Award Finland Austria were announced in a festive award ceremony at the residency of the Finnish Ambassador on 9 October 2018. The aim of the Business Award is to highlight successful and innovative companies that have had a positive impact on the economic relations between Finland and Austria. The award is given jointly by the Embassy of Finland and FINNCHAM Austria. The jury consisted of members from the Embassy of Finland, FINNCHAM Austria, Business Finland and the Honorary Consulate of Vienna/Lower Austria.
After the welcome speech of Ambassador Hannu Kyröläinen, the cooperation partners of the event were introduced: Austrian Business Agency ABA, Hotel Bristol Wien, Residenz Josefstadt, and Schustermann & Borenstein Wien. All four companies presented themselves shortly.
The next highlight of the evening was the keynote speech of Dr Cattina Leitner, the Honorary Consul of Finland in Styria. The Honorary Consul provided not only interesting facts and figures, but also compared the special features and similarities between Finland and Austria in a very inspiring way.
The recipients of the Business Award Finland Austria 2018 were announced by Anna Ahlbom, the Vice President of FINNCHAM Austria:
- Planmeca Group / Plandent GmbH in the category ”Finnish enterprise having subsidiaries or business locations in Austria”. The award was handed to CEO Alexandra Lacek-Cipone ja product manager Kaddour Berkani.
- ScanLang GmbH in the category ”Enterprise that is selling Finnish products or services in Austria”. The award was handed to CEO Katja Jääskeläinen and Executive Partner Franz Michael Bauer.
Afterwards the evening continued with networking as well as drinks and delicious canapes.
Approximately 50 FINNCHAM members and honorary guests of the Embassy participated in the event.
After the summer break, we met again in a cozy networking evening in Bistro König. The managing director of ScanLang GmbH, Katja Jääskeläinen, held a short presentation about the services of her company and about the feedback measuring device HappyOrNot ®, for which they are the official distributors in Austria. Afterwards, ideas and experiences were exchanged in relaxed atmosphere.
Before the summer break on a warm summer evening, we were able to participate in an exclusive talk by the internationally renowned Finnish artist Elina Brotherus about her exhibition “It’s Not Me, It’s a Photographer”. The impressive pictures and interesting stories behind them were a perfect end for the work week. Afterwards we walked to the shop “Best of Portugal”, where we enjoyed a wine tasting with delicious Portuguese food.
The innovative medical center Mediclass invited us to a company presentation in their location in 2. Vienna district at the Prater on a wonderful summer evening. After the official opening, the founder and managing director Mr. Christoph Sauermann informed the numerous participants – also many members of our partner association ÖFG – about the service model and how Mediclass revolutionizes the traditional health care system. After the presentation, guests enjoyed the sunset from the terrace on the 5th floor accompanied by the buffet and received a private tour through the treatment rooms.
The theme of EcoTalk this time was startups. After the wonderful musical performance of two Sylvi Kekkonen found awardees, pianist Justas Stasevskij and the violist Juho Valtonen, we had an interesting roundtable discussion about the success of the startups with the title „What defines the success of a start up? Best practise from Finland“. The three participants of the discussion, Mrs. Eveline Steinberger-Kern, founder and CEO of Blue Minds Company, Mr. Joel Hypén, CEO of the successful Finnish startup AdLaunch and Mr. Radoslav Mizera, Vice President of „Solved – The Cleantech Company“, a Finnish startup with an office in Bratislava, gave an insight to their experiences and challenges as entrepreneurs. The official program was rounded up with another performance of the two musicians. The evening continued with networking and tasting the delicious canapes and wines.
Last Tuesday we gathered in in Bistro KÖNIG for an additional general assembly as well as for a traditional network evening. First the new name of our association „Handelskammer Finnland Österreich“ or in English „Finncham Austria“ was approved unanimously by the participants. Subsequently, our member Niko Adresson gave us an insight to his work at the credit department for multinational corporations at UniCredit and draw us into the exciting world of financing. In a relaxed atmosphere the members continued exchanging ideas after the presentation.
The Finnish health care company Planmeca Group and a 5-star hotel Bristol invited us on Feb 28th to an evening full of innovation and tradition! In the first part we enjoyed an interesting presentation over Planmeca and their fields of activity. We then continued with an exciting tour around the famous hotel Bristol visiting their guest rooms and learning about the history of the building. The discussions and networking continued by the delicious buffet and drinks.
The General Assembly of the Finnish-Austrian Economic Forum 2018 took place in the premises of Residenz Josefstadt on 25.1.2018. Numerous members took the opportunity to get more information about the activities of the association. A look back at 2017 showed successful growth with a record number of 16 new memberships and over 20 events! The board was joined by a new member, Dipl.-Ing. Milla Mouhu. She assumes responsibility for event planning and coordination. The evening was continued with a tour of the residence and discussions over a buffet.
A high-level economy round table discussion in cooperation with the Finnish embassy and the Sylvi Kekkonen foundation
The second EcoTalk event on Wednesday October 18th was launched by the Finnish ambassador Hannu Kyröläinen. This time the participants were three top class managers from Finnish companies: The Kone Chairman of the board Gernot Schöbitz, Valmet CEE director Markus Bolhàr-Nordenkampf and the Stora Enso CEO Henrik Stjernvall.
The honorary consul Ferdinand Auersperg was responsible for the moderation and Johannes Piirto for the music performance (CV attached).
The Finnish company Tieto – means knowledge in Finnish – and their Austrian branch Tieto Austria GmbH invited us to spend an exciting and informative evening with a company presentation. In the modern offices of 33rd floor in Millennium Tower the members of Finnforum received a wide overview of the products and services of Tieto. The numerous participants had afterwards the possibility to test the augmented reality glasses and accompanied by a delicious buffet the discussions continued in smaller groups.
We started the new season with a networking evening focusing on real estate. The finnforum member Milla Mouhu gave insight to her work as a realtor for the franchise company RE/MAX and explained some of the peculiarities of the Viennese real estate market. The interesting discussions continued until late evening.