Finnish and Chinese winter sports experts and enthusiasts are gathering at Rovaniemi, Finland next week to celebrate the ending of the China Finland Year of Winter Sports 2019. About 60 events have been organized during the thematic year. Rovaniemi is hosting the last two events: Winter Sports Forum and the official Closing Ceremonies.
On Monday 2 December, Business Finland organizes a Finland China Winter Sports Forum, which brings together nearly 200 Finns and Chinese business delegates. The program includes speeches, company pitches and networking. Former Olympic athlete and World Cup winner Tanja Poutiainen-Rinne and Mika Kojonkoski, High Performance Director of ski jumping in China and Chairman of Ski Jumping Committee, International Ski Federation (FIS) are among the speakers.
The thematic year around winter sports has been a successful stepping-stone for many Finnish companies. The presidents of the two countries, Mr Sauli Niinistö and Mr Xi Jinping officially launched the year in January in Beijing. The thematic year is the first of its kind to China. It has offered opportunities for new negotiations and raised Finns as potential business partners.
China is preparing for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2022. The Games require investments and Finnish companies have participated several tendering processes in China. Suomen Tekojää, Vepe and Suomen Biathlon are among those who have won the tendering competitions for Olympic venues.
The official closing ceremonies of the China Finland Winter Sports Year take place 3 December at Lappi Areena. The program is a combination of art, music and winter sports. Traditional elements from both cultures are visible in the ceremony, such as dragon or lion dancing and Santa Claus. Other performances include yoik music in northern Sámi language and traditional chant from Solju, group from Chinese National Opera and a group of singers from YL male voice choir. Numerous athletes and sport clubs are participating in the closing ceremony as well.
The First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Ms Tuula Haatainen, the Minister of Culture and Science Ms Hanna Kosonen and the Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Sun Chunlan are participating the closing ceremonies.
The thematic year has been carried out in close co-operation with Business Finland, ministries, cities, companies, Finnish Olympic Committee, Finnish Paralympic Committee and sports associations.