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Release 23.03.2021

Number of new foreign-owned companies in Finland remained high despite the year of the coronavirus

In 2020, 34 customer companies of Invest in Finland invested more than EUR 574 million in Finland and as a result, more than 910 new direct jobs were created in Finland.

Invest in Finland helped 34 foreign companies to establish or expand operations in Finland in 2020. The contributions of these companies brought more than EUR 574 million to Finland last year, despite the coronavirus pandemic. According to Business Finland’s estimate a total of 296 new foreign enterprises entered Finland last year*, which is the largest number since the peak year of 2017.

“Last year, Invest in Finland contacted over 900 international companies and initiated negotiations with more than 200 companies about potentially choosing Finland as a location for their business. We have organized a customized company-specific, high-profile visit or a virtual visit to Finland for more than fifty of these companies,” says Antti Aumo, Executive Director of Invest in Finland.

Despite the coronavirus, Finland performed with excellence

The impact of the coronavirus on global foreign direct investment was significant. According to UNCTAD’s preliminary data, the global investment flows collapsed by 42 percent last year, but nevertheless Finland did excellent. Business Finland observed that a total of 296 new foreign companies, including Invest in Finland customers, came to Finland. Many of them came through acquisitions, but a significant number of new companies were established as well. Among the companies that invested in Finland were Garmin, a company known for its consumer electronics, the media group Schibsted, software service company Visma, construction machinery rental company Boels, logistics company Mitsubishi Logisnext, and data center and internet connection service company Equinix.

According to the Finland as a Business Location 2020 survey**, foreign-owned companies perceive the business environment in Finland in a more positive way than Finnish companies do and they have been satisfied with the functioning of society, stability and digital infrastructure even during the year of the coronavirus.

“Surprisingly, the number of new foreign-owned companies has remained at the same level as in 2019. By industry, most of the new foreign investments were made in business services and in the ICT sector. The sectors that benefited most from the coronavirus year in Finland were health technology, ICT, digital consumer services and logistics,” Aumo says.

The largest number of new foreign direct investments came from Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Slightly over one-half of the investments were allocated to Uusimaa, but investments were also made in Northern Ostrobothnia, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa and North Savo, among others. 

In addition to new investments, those foreign-owned companies that already operate in Finland have made a total of approximately 130 expansion investments in Finland. Foreign companies’ expansion investments reflect trust in Finland as an operating environment. Especially during the pandemic, the importance of expansion investments for the Finnish economy is emphasized. Several expansion investments were made in the manufacturing industry when, for example, Andritz Oy, which supplies equipment to the paper and pulp industry, announced they would invest in expansion both in Varkaus and Savonlinna. Pharmaceutical companies Bayer and Perkin Elmer Wallac, among others, increased their production and personnel in Finland last year. Green values are also reflected in foreign companies’ investments. Both Ikea and Google invest in their own wind farms in Finland. IKEA now produces enough renewable energy in its wind farms in Finland to equal the annual consumption of a city the size of Turku.

“Although the situation is still difficult with regard to the coronavirus, many foreign-owned companies have said that in these circumstances Finland is the best place for a company to be,” Aumo says.

Foreign-owned companies have a significant impact on Finland’s competitiveness 

Foreign investments play an important role in promoting Finland’s competitiveness. They create jobs and bring investment capital, increase exports and innovation, and diversify know-how. According to a survey by the Statistics Finland, approximately 4,400 foreign-owned companies employed nearly 279,000 people and generated EUR 98 billion in turnover and nearly one third of Finland’s exports in 2019. 

“Although only about one percent of companies in Finland are foreign-owned, this group contributes vastly in the Finnish economy. According to our estimate, these companies generated more than EUR 1.4 billion in corporate tax and EUR 15 billion in VAT revenue for Finland,” says Aumo.


* Business Finland and Invest in Finland database. Statistics Finland will publish investment figures of the entire Finland in foreign currency later in the fall after the financial statements have been finalized. 

** Business Finland and Amcham Finland report Finland as a Business Location 2020 



Business Finland, Invest in Finland 

Statistics Finland 2020 

Customs 2020 


Further information for the media:

Antti Aumo, Head of Invest in Finland. Invest in Finland | Business Finland
antti.aumo (at) 040 505 0477

Heli Hemgård, Communications Manager. Finland Promotion Services | Business Finland
heli.hemgard (at) 040 901 5219

Further information for the media:

Invest in Finland helps foreign companies to find business opportunities in Finland, generates information about Finland as an investment destination, and develops and coordinates national investment procurement work actively networking with regional and international actors. In addition, Invest in Finland collects and maintains information about foreign-owned companies in Finland. Invest in Finland is part of Business Finland. 

Business Finland is a Finnish public-sector operator which offers innovation funding and internationalization services and promotes tourism and investments in Finland. The organization employs 750 specialists in about 40 global locations and 16 offices in Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.