Oulu and China – What an awesome story!

One year ago I had visitors in Hangzhou from the city of Oulu, in Northern Finland. Together I had a chance to meet with some of their leaders and help to understand Hangzhou and its opportunities better. Together with determined Oulu entrepreneurs we supported the Bridge-building and revitalizing of the China cooperation in Hangzhou. 

One year after we had an impressive delegation visiting Hangzhou again. I have been more than honoured to support and help to represent Finland, Northern Finland and Oulu at probably the coolest and most interesting rising star of the next 5-10 years China, Hangzhou. 

It’s not only about the opportunity that Finland and China, and Oulu and Hangzhou have, but something more substantial. I’ve been truly impressed by the honest, hard-working, modest and forward-looking attitude of the Finnish northerners. And you can see that it touches and gains appreciation also with the Chinese. 

“Oulu is one of our most important partners”, mentioned the Mayor of Hangzhou as we discussed a few weeks ago at Mayor’s conference in Hangzhou. 

Looking into Xi Jinping’s report and speech on the 19大, Party conference, you can see that Finland has so much what China will be looking for in the next 5-10 and indeed next 30 years: education, clean nature, stable society, long friendship since 1950s, hi-tech, and so on. Oulu is coordinating the EU digital transformation program, Finnish six cities initiative, and hosts a truly unique well-working Oulu Innovation Alliance, which make people impressed in China. We met with government leaders, Alibaba VPs, program managers, local investors, startups, and the message was everywhere the same – wow, this looks brilliant, can we do more together? 

My dream is to support China open up and become more international and better integrated part of our globe. 
Likewise I care about my home country and feel extremely happy that bonds are strengthened, new deals are made, success stories created, love and hope winning over fear. China is an awesome place to be, and I feel so happy, that more Finns are realizing the vast opportunities in the Middle Kingdom.

Having said that, the past year and weeks have just been a good start. Now the real work can start. Our company 梦路 Mingle/DreamWay, is on it and building an independent Finnish platform to support other Finnish organisations, ventures, artists and entrepreneurs to enter the Middle Kingdom. 

Really happy to cooperate with Oulu – and humble and happy to have been invited to Oulu to strengthen the bonds, get more understood on what’s going on in Oulu and finding more ways to support locally in China.

Couldn’t be happier. At the airport the gate says: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. Would you like to go? No, I’m super happy to go to the North to Oulu! That’s where, in the North, the China buzz is gonna be! The week after we’ll have plenty of time to mingle in Helsinki and South too. Before that all eyes on the North for now, here we come!

  • (Monday, Nov 20, 2017) 

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