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Finns team up with Chinese in winter sports

Finns team up with Chinese in winter sports

Oct 26, 2016
Energy & resource efficiency
Air quality
High-performance buildings

Finnish expertise helps China to unfold all its potential in the snowy fields of winter sports.

In China, following the nomination of Beijing as the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the icy and snowy elements of sports have gained a serious boost in popularity. For example, the Chinese government is hoping for 300 million Chinese citizens to have a hobby in winter sports, before the Olympic torch arrives in Beijing. In addition, there is an official target to build up to 2000 new ice hockey arenas and halls within the same schedule.

As the plans in China are somewhat ambitious, the Finpro-managed Team Finland growth program Beautiful Beijing is connecting Finnish knowledge with Chinese aspirations.

"I believe in these opportunities around winter sports. We have various solutions, technologies and knowledge to entrench the Chinese footing in winter sports," says Mika Finska, Program Director of Beautiful Beijing growth program.

Historically, Finland is one of the most distinguished powerhouses in winter sports, but the Nordic winter-expertise is not only limited to sports performance, as multitude of Finnish companies offer various technologies and solutions for winter sports usage: Among others, the likes of ice hockey rinks, indoor ski tunnels and multipurpose arenas demonstrate the Finnish world-class know-how in the sports related business.

Hockey, of course

Complementing the Finnish winter sports competences is obviously ice hockey. In Finland, there hardly is a sport as popular as the one with ice, skates and a puck.

While Finns have lately had their fair share of ice hockey success, the beauty of hockey is also gaining popularity in China. Just recently, the 2016–2017 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) season started with the addition of a Beijing-based club Kunlun Red Star.

Finns are actively helping China to further its expertise in terms of hockey. For instance, Helsinki-based KHL team Jokerit has been arranging ice hockey coaching and training services for Chinese players, teams and coaches. Moreover, Jokerit sent its own juniors to showcase their talent in China during the last summer.

The positive results of the collaboration are already cooking up.

"We build bridges between Finnish companies and international partners. So far, the cooperation has opened new business opportunities for our collaborates," comments Jukka Kohonen, CEO of Jokerit.

Next steps: business opportunities and business events with Beijing Winter Olympics and ice hockey

There are various lucrative business opportunities for Finnish cleantech companies in Chinese winter sports markets. Finpro managed Cleantech Finland program organizes various activities in Beijing for Finnish companies in collaboration with Jokerit HC and Helsinki Business Hub in January 2017. Also, 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games is looking for a Finnish architect company to design a Winter Sports Center in the Zhangjiakou area.

Image: Pekka Rautiainen

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