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News 20.10.2021

All eyes on the developing markets: delivering solutions to global challenges is a huge opportunity for Finnish companies

It's high time for more Finnish companies to look beyond their traditional export markets. The B2B and B2C opportunities with the most significant business potential are increasingly discovered in the rapidly transforming societies and economies of African and Asian countries. Procurement contracts also offer lucrative possibilities as the international financial institutions (IFIs) and United Nations channel more than USD 170 billion annually to finance infrastructure projects in developing countries.

Here's a tip for export companies: focus your next market research project on the changing market and societal needs in developing countries.

It is these transition processes that are constantly creating new business opportunities as well as driving investments into major infrastructure projects. The investments related to the global development challenges are huge. For example, the total financial flows to the developing countries provided by the Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, World Bank, EBRD and other IFIs amount to USD 150 billion annually. The UN is also a market inside the export markets; the procurement needs of the UN agencies were USD 22.3 billion in 2020. 

The good news is that Finland is already a respected player on the international stage

Well-prepared Finnish companies have what it takes to seize the growing opportunities in the developing countries' growing B2B and B2C sectors, and to succeed in the tender processes of the IFI market.

There is every reason why Finnish companies should actively compete, for example, with Danish and Swedish companies to provide scalable solutions for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There are no shortcuts to success, however. Entering a developing market requires a strong vision, commitment and risk-taking capacity. Your company should

  • Be financially solid, with export market experience
  • Have appropriate solutions and dedicated resources focused on the local market
  • Have products, services or a business model that can contribute to sustainable development and deliver local development impacts

Seizing opportunities for positive change: examples from India, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia and Jordan

There are Finnish companies already doing good business in the developing markets, and there is plenty of growth potential for many more market entrants. The companies and projects that we have supported offer inspiring examples of business that enables positive change.

In India and Indonesia, a consortium of Finnish and local companies is piloting innovative methods to collect plastic waste from rivers and the sea while generating new revenue streams for industry and energy. A Finnish company and its local partners in Kenya are turning old electric cars into efficient solar-powered taxis, creating better income opportunities for local drivers and mitigating climate change.

For example, the total financial flows to the developing countries provided by the Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, World Bank, EBRD and other IFIs amount to USD 150 billion annually.

Aalto University and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT have piloted new, self-sustaining communications, energy production and storage systems for rural areas in Namibia. Finnish companies are also collaborating with local challenge owners in Jordan to develop solutions related to health and education for refugees.

Every developing market is facing many challenges that require urgent solutions. Finland has the technology, skills and credibility to deliver.

Let's work together to seize these opportunities. Get in touch!

Working closely with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Business Finland's Developing Markets Platform offers 
  • Funding services: innovation and co-creation funding for Finnish companies and their local partners by blending funding from Business Finland and the Ministry.
  • Expert services: especially in our main focus countries – India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam – we can provide comprehensive support that includes expert advice, strong networks and close cooperation with the local Finnish embassies, government authorities and business partners.
  • Expert advice and valuable networks to access the investment opportunities and tenders involving the major international financial institutions and the United Nations