Skip to content

Sustainable opportunities in growth markets

Did you know that developing markets are the growth markets of the future? Do you wish to explore further how your product, service or solution could succeed and bring about sustainability benefits in those markets? Developing Markets Platform helps Finnish companies and their partners develop sustainable business and access market opportunities in growing developing markets.

Developing markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and South-East Europe provide a wide range of market and growth opportunities for international(izing) Finnish companies with sustainable solutions.

Developing Markets Platform helps Finnish companies and their partners develop sustainable business and access market opportunities in growing developing markets. With sustainability, collaboration and partnerships at the core, our approach combines innovation with export opportunities in developing markets.

About developing markets

Future growth markets

Developing markets are the growth markets of the future:

  • Developing markets are marked with fast economic and demographic growth. The annual real GDP growth rate stood at 4% in 2023 for emerging and developing markets, being 1.4% for advanced economies according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While Asia is the most populous continent in the world, Africa is expected to contribute most of the global population increase in the decades to come according to the United Nations (UN).

  • Developing markets attract international investment flows and, increasingly, attention through major strategic initiatives. For example, the EU Global Gateway aims to mobilize some 300 billion EUR of investments for digital energy and transport sectors as well as for health, education and research systems worldwide by 2027.

Need for sustainable solutions

Finnish companies and their partners can provide solutions to various development challenges in growing developing markets – in ways that make business sense and are compatible with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Examples of development challenges in need for sustainable solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Pollution or environmental degradation
  • Lack of sufficient waste management, sanitation or access to clean water
  • Food insecurity or unsustainable management of natural resources such as forests, land and water
  • Lack of or costly access to health services, quality education, financial services, energy or Internet
  • Insufficient infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways or ports
  • Lack of entrepreneurship or low industrialization and productivity
  • Lack of decent jobs, income generation or poor workplace safety
  • Insufficient capacity and lack of skills
  • Gender inequality or marginalization of vulnerable groups such as minorities

Finnish companies and their partners are developing a wide range of innovative solutions in green, zero-carbon and circular economy, digitalization, health and other themes – as showcased, for example, by missions and programs of Business Finland.

Our approach

Sustainability, collaboration and partnerships form key crosscutting elements of our approach in helping Finnish companies towards developing markets.

Developing Markets Platform is a joint endeavor of Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) – combining Business Finland’s unique expertise in innovation and export promotion with the services of the MFA and other key partners such as Finnpartnership. Business Finland is a core member of Team Finland network that brings together all public internationalization services in Finland.

Funding for Co-Innovation in developing markets

Our funding for co-innovation in developing markets enables companies to co-develop and co-create sustainable innovations jointly with local partners in developing markets. The funding is complementary de minimis grant up to 75% of the project cost and must be always robustly linked to an R&D project funded by Business Finland. The funding for co-innovation in developing markets derives from the official development assistance (ODA) by the MFA and the funded projects must have potential to contribute achieving at least one of the SDGs. When collaborating with a company with a funding for co-innovation in developing markets project, Finnish non-governmental organizations, research institutes and educational institutions can reach out to Finnpartnership for support.

Read more about funding for Co-Innovation in developing markets

International financial institutions

International Financial Institutions (IFIs) account for some 150 billion USD of annual financial flows towards developing markets. We support Finnish companies with market information and networking towards procurement and investment opportunities provided by IFIs such as the World Bank Group, regional development banks and the EU. Development impact and sustainability are the key drivers for the work of IFIs.

Read more about international financial institutions

Making business with the UN

The value of UN procurements towards developing markets amount to some 20 billion USD annually – covering a wide range of products and services from pharmaceuticals to transportation. We support Finnish companies with market information, sparring and networking towards UN procurement opportunities in developing markets. The SDGs are the core of the work of bodies, specialized agencies, funds and programs forming the UN system.

Geographic coverage

Our work can cover developing countries from least developed to upper-middle income countries, as defined by the OECD. Business Finland has offices in the following developing markets:

East Africa – with Kenya as a hub – and Ukraine are currently in focus in our work. In addition, a pilot project funded by the MFA and implemented by HAUS Institute of Public Management aims to strengthen Developing Markets Platform in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Become our customer

Our services are meant for customers of Business Finland. If services of Business Finland are new to your, please read more about how to become our customer.

Read more about how to become a customer

Contact us

Funding for Co-innovation in developing markets

Kiira Kärkkäinen

+358 50 520 6171
International Financial Institutions

Grace Wang

+358 50 342 4740
Making business with the UN / Ukraine

Marjukka Holopainen-Rainio

+358 50 571 0038
East Africa

Meshack Wasiar

+254 712 722 169