Foreign direct investment (FDI) increased slightly in Finland during 2014 compared to the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Invest in Finland, which operates as part of Finpro, 229 new foreign-owned companies came to Finland in 2014 compared to 213 companies in 2013. 2014 was a challenging year for FDI due to the fragile economic situation globally and in Europe as well as the uncertainty created by the crisis in the Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia.
The major source countries for FDI in Finland were Sweden, UK, United States and – featuring in the top five for the first time – France and Norway. The most popular sectors for investments were ICT, business services, healthcare and wellbeing, retail trade and environmental technology.
The availability of competent labour is one of the most important factors influencing investment decisions. The ongoing structural change in the ICT sector has increased the supply of competent labour in Finland and this pool of skilled workers has attracted the attention of international companies and resulted in major investments. In the future, investments in the ICT sector are expected to focus particularly on automotive electronics and software, smart traffic, health and wellbeing technology, game industry, wireless technology, industrial internet, cyber security and data centres.
Finland’s strong industrial base, know-how and excellent availability of wood raw material provide a good platform for bioeconomy investments. However, Finland also faces challenges in terms of the price level of wood raw material, logistics costs and distance from the big markets. Globally the development is slowed down by the low price of oil and undeveloped technology.
“The direct investments coming to Finland bring significant benefits to the national economy. The investments stimulate economic growth, create export earnings and jobs, bring more capital for product development and strengthen our business networks. The task of the FDI promoting regional partners, development companies and the whole of Team Finland, is to identify opportunities in Finland and to communicate about these to internationalizing companies around the world,” says Finpro’s CEO Markus Suomi.
China becomes biggest FDI recipient country
According to preliminary data from UNCTAD, foreign direct investments in 2014 amounted to USD 1260 billion, which was about 8% less than the year before (2013: USD 1363 billion). FDI in the developed countries fell by 14%. FDI flows to the United States continued to decrease but investments in the EU countries increased by 13% from the previous year.
Investments in the developing countries reached their highest level ever at USD 700 billion, which was 56% of the total FDI flows. China became the largest recipient country for FDI and Hong Kong also climbed above the United States, which is placed third in the rankings. Due to a new statistical methodology, country-specific FDI flows in foreign currencies will not be published until October.
News about FDI in Finland
Invest in Finland compiles statistics about international companies operating in Finland. Regional development companies and other actors also participate in the work. A website with news about investments made in Finland will be published in cooperation with all the parties involved in FDI work. Statistics Finland follows the foreign currency value of investments, a task previously undertaken by the Bank of Finland.
Hanna Lankinen, Head of business development, Invest in Finland, Finpro,hanna.lankinen(a)finpro.fi, tel. 040 40 761 5551
Outi Torniainen, Senior vice president, Communications & Marketing, Finpro,outi.torniainen(a)finpro.fi, tel. 040 512 1375
Markus Suomi, CEO, Finpro, markus.suomi(a)finpro.fi, tel. 050 511 7337
Invest In Finland, Finpro
Invest in Finland assists international companies in finding business opportunities in Finland, produces information about Finland as an investment location as well as developing and coordinating national FDI promotion work. Invest in Finland also networks actively with regional and international actors and compiles information about foreign-owned companies in Finland.
Invest in Finland is part of Finpro, an expert organisation that supports the international growth and success of Finnish companies. Finpro’s global network is an important part of Invest in Finland’s work abroad. Invest in Finland’s work is guided by the economic and innovation policies of the Finnish government and it is funded by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.