Team Finland – services to promote exports and internationalisation
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finnish diplomatic missions offer Finnish companies a wide range of services in Finland and abroad to promote exports and internationalisation. All in all, companies can draw upon the local knowledge, networks and prestige of close to one hundred missions.
Trade policy professionals in the Foreign Ministry and missions work hard to assist Finnish companies in harnessing the opportunities for international business. This calls for long-term efforts to reinforce the rules-based international trading system as well as to lower and remove trade barriers particularly in the sectors in which Finnish companies are competitive.
The Foreign Ministry identifies effective channels of influence and is active in promoting companies’ objectives in connection with market accessissues. To succeed in these efforts, it is important that companies define their needs and objectives, either directly or through advocacy organisations, on a timely basis to make it possible to promote Finland’s interests in negotiations and in the context of EU and bilateral meetings.
The Foreign Ministry and missions also help companies to address acute market access problems. Finnish missions engage in sustained cooperation with the EU Commission and delegations to remove barriers to trade.
Finnish foreign missions serve companies by creating contacts with local operators and partners.
The use of mission premises contributes to a positive corporate image and facilitates networking in the host country. Usually this means various promotional events and networking opportunities. They range from working lunches and dinners to seminars and workshops hosted by the head of the mission or his or her alternate. The head of mission or a high-ranking official of the ministry may attend the event to add prestige, for example by opening the event or delivering a speech. In this way, companies can increase credibility and visibility in the target market.
Missions can assist Finnish companies in establishing contacts with local authorities, for example when such authorities act in a purchasing capacity. Additionally, missions can issue letters of reference when necessary and refer companies to consultants based in the host country.
Team Finland visits are one way of facilitating the establishment of contacts in an attractive market. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs organises regular Team Finland visits in collaboration with other organisations in response to the needs and interests of companies. In 2016, a total of over 40 Team Finland visits were made to promote the international business of Finnish companies.
Finnish diplomatic missions provide companies with general country information and offer informal ‘sparring’ sessions according to their individual needs. With the deployment of Team Finland’s shared customer relationship management system, the Foreign Ministry’s capabilities for offering customised services will improve.
The network of missions generates a range of public political and economic reports (country outlooks) in which the operating environment in the host country is also analysed from a business point of view. The reports are available on the Foreign Ministry’s website at formin.finland.fi. Additionally, the missions produce up-to-date information on market opportunities in specific industries as well as sales leads which are posted on marketopportunities.fi.
The Foreign Ministry also gathers information on the public procurement projects of international organisations and development aid agencies which is made available to companies.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs uses development cooperation funding to finance private sector instruments designed to support partnerships and business opportunities of Finnish companies in developing countries. The Foreign Ministry offers companies advice and information on financing services related to the funding available from Finnfund, BEAM innovation funding, Finnpartnership business partnership support as well as financing for public-sector investments in developing countries (Public Sector Investment Facility).
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs works in close cooperation with other Team Finland organisations, referring companies to Finpro, Tekes or Finnvera as appropriate in accordance with the one-stop-shop principle.
Business Finland, a new organisation due to commence operations at the beginning of 2018, will combine the services offered by Finpro and Tekes, thereby improving the capacity of the Team Finland network to provide companies customised services outside Finland as well.
Contact the Ministry for Foreign Affairs by e-mailing to teamfinland(a)formin.fi or get in touch with the foreign mission directly. Additional information on the services is provided by the Team Finland Ambassador Okko-Pekka Salmimies, tel. 0295 351 454.
The Foreign Ministry e-mail address format is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To allow the Team Finland experts to asses your service needs and contact your company to tailor a service kit for you, you can also complete the Team Finland contact form.