Chinese multi-sector giant Beijing Beiran Enterprises and Helsinki Business Hub have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, setting up a platform for business collaboration between Beijing Beiran Enterprises and Finnish companies.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in November 2017, as the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori was visiting Beijing. The signing was preceded by several visits, seminars and meetings between Helsinki Business Hub, Beijing Beiran Enterprises and its subsidiaries, and Helsinki City officials. Helsinki Business Hub had also introduced potentially interesting Finnish companies to Beijing Beiran Enterprises.
“A Memorandum of Understanding is very important in the Chinese business culture. It is a significant milestone showing mutual trust and a wish to establish a collaborative relationship,” says Zhang Wenhua, General Manager Assistant Director at Beijing Enterprises Group.
A Memorandum of Understanding is very important in the Chinese business culture. It is a significant milestone showing mutual trust and a wish to establish a collaborative relationship.
Beijing Beiran Enterprises Group is a multi-sector company, with business operations ranging from natural gas to breweries. It employs approximately 120,000 people. The company has 22 subsidiaries operating in seven sectors, including liquefied petroleum gas, clean heating, engineering design, research and development, engineering construction, gas meter manufacturing, and modern services. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Enterprises Group.
“Beijing Enterprises is an integrated service provider in the utilities industry. We provide various utility services, such as urban natural gas transmission and distribution, water supplies, sewage treatment, solid waste treatment, heating, environmental improvement and so on. Therefore, we are looking forward to promoting collaboration with Finnish companies working in these fields,” Zhang explains.
“From our point of view, optimal Finnish business partners can range from small and medium-sized enterprises good at very specific areas to large-scale enterprises with comprehensive strength. They might have interesting technology or unique expertise or an integrated solution in the business service industry.”
Turning a Memorandum of Understanding into business
The Memorandum of Understanding between Beijing Beiran Enterprises and Helsinki Business Hub will act as a door opener for future cooperation between Beijing Beiran Enterprises and Finnish companies. Memorandums of Understanding often require significant preparation, are signed in the presence of high-ranking officials, and mark the start of the real work – that of turning opportunities into concrete business.
“The Memorandum of Understanding will help us build a bridge to Helsinki Business Hub. They can offer us an efficient and effective channel to learn and understand the Finnish business circumstances and traditions and get to know Finnish enterprises in different industries,” says Zhang Wenhua.
Helsinki Business Hub has already introduced various Finnish companies to Beijing Beiran Enterprises, resulting in two separate Memorandums of Understanding between the Chinese company and Finnish businesses: one with energy and environmental technology company Oilon and the other with Altum Technologies, which has developed new ultrasound technology for cleaning industrial equipment.
Another important channel for initiating collaboration with Chinese companies is through sister city cooperation. Beijing and Helsinki are sister cities.
“Sister city cooperation has a long history in China and it’s very important when a foreign organization or company wants to enter the Chinese market. It acts as a quick pass helping the organization obtain recognition from Chinese customers,” Zhang explains.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding between Beijing Beiran Enterprises and Helsinki Business Hub, the future collaboration will include joint seminars and events in both countries, and Helsinki Business Hub will continue to introduce Finnish companies to Beijing Beiran Enterprises, hopefully creating lots of new business opportunities between Finland and China.
“We are eager to enhance our collaboration with Helsinki Business Hub, including information exchange, regular high-level visits between our countries, and exchange activities for potential companies,” Zhang says.