Finland is a Nordic country near Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It is home to forests, lakes, and many islands. Since 1995, it has been a member of the European Union and had been under a parliamentary republic. Just last 2002, it has adopted the Euro to be its official currency. Two languages are primarily spoken in Finland namely Finish and Swedish. The latter is the minority at 6%.
Being a modern welfare state, Finland is already highly developed when it comes to its services and infrastructure. Their welfare system is extensive which ranges from health, education, elderly care, children day care, libraries, rescue and fire, environmental, leisure, and industrial policy. The main products involve metal, wood, pulp, paper, and engineering products. Later on, they became they key providers of electronics.
Doing business in a country as diverse as Finland, one should be prepared of what he or she is dealing with. Make sure you are familiar with the Finnish society and culture before stepping out there.
When it comes to meetings, make sure that you shake hands with everybody in the group starting with the women. Address the people by their title followed by the surname but if you are not sure of the surname, a miss or mister would suffice. As for your attire, do not overdress as this could be seen as a sign of arrogance. Also, make sure you regulate your voice as a very loud voice indicates being over energetic that they do not like. Avoid folding of arms as well. This signifies arrogance. Do not put your hands in your pockets when talking as this could be rude for them and always remove your hat when talking to someone or entering a building.
For the sake of logistics, make sure that you set your meeting in advance through writing. Keep in mind that the working day changes depending on the season. During winter, offices start at 8:00 A.M. and end at 4:15. At summer, office hours are from 8:00 A.M. until 3:15 P.M. Holidays are mostly during July to September.
During the meeting, make sure that you have everything organized. Even to the tiniest detail of providing a business card should be considered. The Finns want the meeting to be straightforward and small talks should be avoided. Being an egalitarian society, the Finns do not want any display of superiority and too much emotion. This could make them feel that your are too informal. Also, they could really be silent for long periods of time but this is perfectly normal.
Basically, the Finns are open-minded and tolerant. Business you do with them would most likely turn to be great. Just follow proper business etiquette and you are good to go. Just follow the tips mentioned above to have a smooth transaction with them.