Finland has been receiving an increasing amount of foreign investments during 2013, as the projects initiated in Finland went up by 44 %. The Helsinki region was the best performer in terms of attracting foreign investment by getting 90 new projects, 48 % increase to previous year. This increase in foreign investments indicates that the Finnish economy has a strong global network and is seen as an attractive market abroad, especially for sales and marketing operations. In order to continue on positive track Finnish government decreased the corporate tax from 24.5 % to 20 % in the beginning of 2014. The most promising investment fields are cutting edge cleanctech, the new emerging bioeconomy, ICT and traditional manufacturing.
Finland is among the leading countries in the world in cleantech sector with special capabilities in energy efficiency, clean industrial processes and bioenergy. The field was valued EUR 25.8 billion in 2013, there are 2 000 enterprises in the sector that employ 50 000 people and 40 000 new jobs are expected to be created by 2020. There are opportunities for new investors especially in wind power, bioenergy and renewable fuels, energy efficient construction and water technology sectors. Other key sectors are analysis and automation, waste management and emission reduction.
Finland has a long history in forest cultivation and is one of the largest forest industry producers and exporters. The sector consist of companies producing mostly paper and pulp, packaging and wood products, employing over 50 000 people. The total turnover is estimated to be at EUR 50 billion, which is 14 % of the Finnish GDP.
The forestry sector has had to partly re-invent itself because of the decline of paper sales around the world due to digitalization. This has initiated the so-called bioeconomy: forestry companies are developing advanced composites, even cellulose fibres for garments, generating power and developing biofuels from forest industry’s residues. The cluster includes also technology and chemical branches which are focusing on machinery, material handling and bio based raw materials.
Over the past years, the Finnish ICT sector has grown tremendously and last year it attracted a large number of FDI projects. Finnish companies are known for wireless and mobile solutions, combining ICT with machinery, healthcare and life sciences applications.
Especially after the layoffs of Nokia, foreign companies have found opportunities in talent base that was left open. There are a lot of new companies and developments especially in the gaming and application field, as small companies are looking to be the next Rovio or Supercell.
Finnish employees are known to have great work ethics and skills. In fact, productivity in Finland is measured to be 4.5 times better than in the low-cost countries. Large Finnish companies are strong in building ship and power plant engines, pulp and paper machines, ore and mineral handling equipment, elevators, cranes and lifts as well as forestry and agriculture machines. There are also a variety of SME subcontractors serving these large companies with components, structures and metal products, which offer possibilities for interesting investments.