Number of foreign-owned companies in Finland has grown three years running
In 2015, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Finland grew again slightly compared to the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Finpro’s Invest in Finland unit, 265 new foreign-owned companies set up business Finland in 2015, compared to 229 in 2014. In addition, the foreign-owned companies already operating in Finland made more than 230 expansion or follow-on investment decisions to their businesses in Finland.
The countries making the most investments in Finland were Sweden, USA, Great Britain, Denmark and Germany. The sectors with the largest number of new foreign-owned companies were business services, health care and wellbeing, and ICT.
Last year’s biggest single foreign investment was by the German company Continental which acquired the Finnish company Elektrobit’s automotive-software business for 600 M€. Other major investments included data centre investments by Hetzner Online (170 M€) and Telia (150 M€), and Nordic Choice’s hotel investment (120 M€) in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki.
“It’s great that the number of direct investments in Finland is continuing its steady growth and improving our overall economic situation. Every euro invested in investment promotion in Finland brings back 15 euros in tax revenues,” says Antti Aumo, Head of Finpro’s Invest in Finland unit.
The availability of expert ICT professionals was one of the main reasons behind the decision by the online shopping giant Zalando to establish its e-commerce product development unit in Finland. In the ICT sector, the Chinese company Huawei has in recent years increased the number of personnel in its Finnish R&D unit from 18 to 160. South Korea’s LG Electronics has also opened a new product development unit in Turku, focusing on 5G radio technology solutions and their integrated radio circuits for as well as the Internet of Things and smart homes.
“Top Finnish know-how is very competitive and attracts leading international industrial players to our country,” says Antti Aumo.
In the bioeconomy sector, domestic investments such as Metsä Group’s bioproduct factory in Äänekoski have also increased the interest of foreign investors. In early 2016, Kaidi, one of China’s largest bioenergy companies, announced that it is planning to build a biorefinery in Kemi.
Finnish investment activity, particularly in the forest and metal industries and public building projects in basic infrastructure, was reflected in foreign investments in business services. For example, in the technical consulting field, which includes different research, planning and consulting services, a total of 63 investments were made in 2015, representing almost a fifth of all foreign direct investments.
Most follow-on investments were made in the retail and care services sectors. International retail chains like Norwegian sports equipment retailer XXL established 4 new stores and concentrated the main development of its online store in Finland. Lidl opened four new stores during the past year and announced that it is building a logistics centre in Järvenpää. Swedish-owned Tokmanni also opened 12 new stores.
In the health care and wellbeing sector, care services providers expanded their activities in the provinces, which has boosted employment in those regions. The biggest expansion plans were announced by British-owned Attendo and Swedish-owned Mehiläinen.
Foreign currency investments in Finland are monitored by Statistics Finland (this was previously done by the Bank of Finland). The statistics for 2015 will be published in November 2016, so the most recent data available for direct foreign currency investments is for the year 2014, when the net amount was 13.0 billion euros. The strong growth in direct investments was particularly the result of acquisitions where major Finnish companies came fully or partly under foreign ownership. Internal loan arrangements by multinational groups also increased direct investments to Finland. The value of direct foreign currency investments to Finland was 77.3 billion euros at the end of 2014.
Invest in Finland compiles statistics about foreign companies operating in Finland. Regional business development companies also participate in this work. Together with Finnfacts, we produce news about the investments directed to Finland.
More information: Kaija Laitinen tel. 040 822 0613, email@example.com