(but no-one knows about it)
Ten leaders and decision-makers from international companies operating in Helsinki took part in a roundtable discussion, hosted by Greater Helsinki Promotion, in December 2011. The theme of the discussion was investment opportunities and obstacles in Finland. The Chairman of the event was Senior Advisor Jorma Eloranta, former CEO of Metso, who has been missioned by Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies and Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen to come up with an investment strategy for Finland. He will present his findings and suggestions for an investment strategy and action plan by February 15th, 2012.
The participants, all representing different sectors from IT and medical equipment to HR services and finance, said that Helsinki and Finland have skilled workers and a lot of know-how. The Finns possess excellent analytical skills; especially engineers are top of the world. Also, ideas and innovations bloom. However, more could be done in turning those ideas into successful top-selling products.
R&D&I institutions are varied and even big international companies can get support from orgnisations like Tekes. These institutions and support systems are a good bonus to the other special characteristics of Finland: excellent infrastructure, low corruption, location (access to Asia) and high quality of life.
Taxation in Finland is an issue – but not the reason to all things evil. With some changes to taxation, especially to income taxation of foreign professionals and managers, Finland could attract more top international specialists and leaders. This will be even more important in the near future as Finland faces similar demographic problems as many other Western countries (and Japan): with a growing number of aging workers exiting active working life, there might be a lack of skilled leaders in the coming years.
There are many reasons why to invest in Helsinki and Finland. There are many interesting opportunities for international companies and experts in Helsinki and Finland. The problem is that no-one knows about it. Thus, the investment roundtable’s regards are: Communicate! Tell the success stories! Tell about what this country has to offer!