Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä, Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä signed on the last piece of the construction. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Finland tops out ‘Snow Cape’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

  • Around 80-85% of the around 80-85 percent of the pavilion’s materials will be reused and recycled after the exhibition is over
  • Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 World Happiness Report

DUBAI: Finland revealed its Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion, named Snow Cape, during a recent ceremony at the site.

Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, Commissioner General of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä, and Finland’s Ambassador to the UAE, Marianne Nissilä signed on the last piece of the construction.

The structure is located in the Mobility District, and around 80-85 percent of its materials will be reused and recycled after the exhibition is over.

“We want visitors to Snow Cape to immerse themselves in our deep connection to nature and sustainability. The values of happiness, circular economy and innovations are being showcased throughout the pavilion and exhibition design,” Keinälä said.

Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

“Finnish happiness is based on the symbiosis of people, nature and technology. This deep connection is the origin of the quality of everyday Finnish life and the Finland pavilion communicates this happiness,” Keinälä said.

Snow Cape’s design was created by Finland-based JKMM Architects and aims to combine the local culture of the UAE and Finnish tradition.

“The pavilion was inspired by the white blanket of snow that covers the Finnish landscape every winter. The main entrance was designed to elicit thoughts of a traditional Arabic tent, seamlessly integrating features from both cultures,” Partner and Architect at JKMM Architects Teemu Kurkela said.

Kurkela explained that they had many options to pick from, such as forests to represent the Finnish nature, but decided to go with the snow cape.

“Since the climate here is very hot, lots of sun and sand and dessert. What is the extreme contrast to that? In that sense, it’s the winter and the snow,” the architect said.

JKMM also designed the Finnish pavilion, Kirnu, in Shanghai World Expo 2010, which won the first prize in the design competition.

As for how Finland’s participation will reflect on the relations with UAE and the region, the ambassador believes it will make the connections tighter.

“I think the fact that 100 Finnish companies decided to take part in Expo is the clearest sign ever about their interest to reach out to Dubai, to the UAE and to the wider region here,” Nissilä said.

The ambassador also hopes these companies use the exhibition as a platform to reinforce relations with partners and find new ones.

“I’m hoping that expo will bring the economic and trade cooperation to a totally new level, with new partnerships found and new deals made” Nissilä said.


Hillhouse said to target more than $3bn for new yuan-denominated fund

Hillhouse’s move underscores a revival in private equity fundraising momentum in Asia. (Reuters)
Updated 19 September 2020

Hillhouse said to target more than $3bn for new yuan-denominated fund

  • The dollar fund, the firm’s fifth, will comprise about $1 billion for venture investment, $2.5 billion for growth-stage companies and the rest for buyout deals, said two of the people

HONG KONG: Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Group is raising a fund targeting over 20 billion yuan ($3 billion), said people with knowledge of the matter, as it readies itself for opportunities offered by the eventual normalization of the Chinese economy.
Hillhouse formally began fundraising for its largest-ever yuan fund in recent months, said one of the people. It is unclear when the fundraising will close but typical time frames are six months to over a year. Details of the fund are reported here for the first time.
The move underscores a revival in private equity fundraising momentum in Asia, after new funds raised focusing on the region dropped to a seven-year low in the first half of the year, as buyout firms scrambled to pare exposure to virus-hit portfolios.
So far in July-September, only a little over $6 billion has been raised for Asia-focused funds, compared with the quarter’s five-year average of $46 billion, data from Preqin showed.
However, top private equity firms’ track record of landing big-ticket merger-and-acquisition deals and steady returns for their investors hunting yields in a low interest rate environment are helping to revive fundraising activity.

FASTFACT

In July to September, a little over $6 billion has been raised for Asia-focused funds, compared with the quarter’s five-year average of $46 billion.

Hillhouse is also raising what would be Asia’s largest US dollar-denominated fund targeting $13 billion, said separate people with knowledge of the matter.
The dollar fund, the firm’s fifth, will comprise about $1 billion for venture investment, $2.5 billion for growth-stage companies and the rest for buyout deals, said two of the people.
Hillhouse’s fundraising follows US-based KKR & Co, which has raised more than $11 billion for its latest Asia fund. Its target is $12.5 billion, sources have said. Founded in 2005 by Chinese rainmaker Zhang Lei with seed funding from a Yale University endowment, Hillhouse is known for early investments in Chinese tech giants.