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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 9
Volume 10
December 2015

After nearly a decade, the federal Reserve of the United States made good on its promise to raise interest rates moving from near zero to a range between 0.25-0.5%. The Fed continues to project an expectation of four rate hikes next year. The Fed described this move as gradual, with no fundamental shift in its other economic projections.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management said that they think the Fed's action amounts to a cautious hike, and that "based on current forecast, we believe the trajectory of interest rates will be shallow. Given the positive trends in the US labor market, we expect the Fed's main focus in the coming months will be on inflation - particularly dollar strength - and economic growth."

How does this impact you as a saver, an investor, a borrower? The FACC will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the prevailing trends. You may want to mark your calendar for our State of the Market event on January 14th (day subject to change) to find out what steps you need to consider in your strategies for the coming year.

Meanwhile, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Yours in service,

Esa Jokela


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Upcoming events 

January 14th: State of the market / Chamber Seminar
The exact time and location TBA.

February 11th: Mingle event @ Clematis 
Time: 5PM-8PM
Place: The Wine Dive, 319 Clematis St., Suite 100, FL33431
Save the date!

Networking Luncheon
Time and place TBA.

Follow updates on the events at FACC website.  

Our member HappyOrNot is hiring!

Want to be part of a company that is making the world a Happier place?

Our member HappyOrNot is looking for a creative and forward thinking Marketing Manager:

"As our creative and forward thinking Marketing Manager, you will be establishing and leading our HappyOrNot Americas Inc. subsidiary Marketing planning, budgeting, execution and outcome monitoring. You will be also improving our brand presence in the market and help our partner network doing effective marketing in their field. Being part of our Americas team in West Palm Beach, FL, you will have an important role to improve the awareness and grow our business"

News from Florida

lorida's economy grows faster than most
Florida's economy grew faster than all but five other states. The US economy grew 3.8% overall during the second quarter of 2015. Florida's goods and services produced rose 5.1%. Florida has a more direverse economy now, which is helping it to grow faster. Read more on SunSentinel.

Miami-area 6th in nation for small business activity
The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area was ranked sixth in the US for small business activity. Small business activity is on the increase nationally. In South Florida, 90% of the economy is made by small businesses by many measures. Read more on Miami Herald.

South Florida among top 10 growth in home sales 
South Florida is among the top metros to experience some of the largest price increases in home sales in the US. The data shows that secondary markets have benefited greatly from the overall housing recovery with price gains significantly above large market, said Steve Udelson, President of the business. Read more here.

Virtual-reality tech could mean boom for Orlando
The advancements for virtual reality in gaming could boost Orlando's tech community, which includes one of the top video game development communities in the U.S. More at the Orlando Sentinel.

Miami meets New York in a merger
Miami-Based company Mallah Furman merges with New York accounting and consulting firm. The New York-based EisnerAmper LLP wanted to expand their national presence, and they looked down to Florida. Mallah Furman's reputation for client service is well known throughout Florida. Read more here.

Newell Rubbermaid buys Jarden
Newell Rubbermaid is buying Boca Raton-based Jarden Corporation in a deal that will generate about $16 billion revenue per year with brands like Paper Mate, Sharpie, Elmer's, Rubbermaid, Lenox, Yankee Candle and Graco. Read more on SunSentinel

News from Finland

Servicepoint to collaborate with US-based Systech
Finnish automation supplier Servicepoint has signed a strategic partnership agreement with US-based Systech International, which specialises in brand protection. Servicepoint specialises in industrial automation and electrification projects, maintenance and robotic applications. Read more on Servicepoint & Systech cooperation here.

Finnish startup Gizlo creates one feedback service
The Finnish startup Gizlo has developed a simple digital service for consumers to leave direct feedback on the places where they eat and shop. Their mission is to enable people to give feedback where ever they want through a single, easy-to-use channel. Read how the Gizlo works here.

Large power plant investment to Finland
Neste, Veolia and Borealis will build a new combined heat and power plant in Porvoo, Finland. The total investment is expected to be around 400 million euros. The companies have a greed to create a joint venture company called Kilpilahti Power Plant Limited. The new company will build the new combined heat and power plant and produce and supply steam and other utilities. Read more here.
Technology startup Madberry moved its headquarters to Helsinki recently, because it sees Finland as one of the world's major gamin industry hubs. One of the biggest challenges in the gaming industry today is said to be attracting and retaining users against the fierce competition. Madberry is confident they can solve the problem. Read more here.

Proxy Ventures builds startups into world-class brands
Proxy Ventures, a brand-focused venture capital firm, offers its portfolio companies funding, as well as a world-class brand. The company likes to invest in Finnish companies because of the country's high education level, reasonable salaries, good work ethic and great engineering expertise. Read more here.
Upcoming partner events 

Doing Business in Costa Rica Workshop
Clearwater Workshop - January 13, 2016
Tampa Workshop - January 14, 2016

If you are interested in exporting your products or services to Costa Rica and learning more about the Tampa Bay Export Alliance upcoming Export Sales Mission to Costa Rica, register to attend the informational workshop. The guest speaker for the workshop is Abby Daniell, Commercial Director, U.S Embassy, San Jose, Costa Rica. Register for Clearwater workshop here and Tampa workshop here

MiaGreen Expo & Conference (8th Edition)
February 9-11, 2016
Miami, Florida

MiaGreen combines a major trade show with front edge educational and networking programs, showcasing cutting-edge technologies, services, know-how & education serving the Green Building, Solar. Energy Storage/Saving, Clean-Tech Industries. MiaGreen connects with East USA, Florida plus Latin America & Caribbean markets from Miami.  

Complying with U.S. Export Controls
February 17-18. 2016
Tampa, Florida

This two-day program is led by BIS's professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods. 

Cross Cultural Management Summit 2016
February 18-20, 2016
Melbourne, Florida

Join top thought leaders and experienced international business executives to solve some of the pressing cross cultural management challenges facing your organization. 

2016 International Days
February 23-24, 2016
Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center
Address: 555 W. Pensacola Street Tallahassee, FL 32301

Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida's international business community to hear from top international trade experts and promote the significant role international business has in Florida's economy and in your business.

EAR / ITAR / OFAC Training "Partnering for Compliance" East Coast
March 1-4, 2016
Orlando, Florida

The 15th Annual "Partnering for Compliance" East Coast export / import control program is in Orlando. Government & Trade Speakers include among others: DoS/DDTL: Terry Davis & DDTC Daniel Buzby; DoC/BIS: Gene Christiansen & OEE Jonathan Barnes.


We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.




Esa Jokela

Finnish American Chamber of Commerce