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News 14.10.2021

Foreign direct investments fuel regional growth in Finland

In the last five years, almost 1400 new foreign investments have landed in Finland. Many of the investments have come to the Helsinki metropolitan area, but foreign investors and companies are also interested in strong regional business ecosystems and their unique expertise.

The largest number of foreign investments in the last five years has been made in Uusimaa (approximately 56% of all investments), but Northern Ostrobothnia, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa, Northern Savonia, Central Finland and Satakunta have also received a good share of newcomers. Invest in Finland, which is part of Business Finland, together with regional development organizations, promotes the location of foreign investments in different parts of Finland.

"Globally, it is typical that new foreign investments come to the Helsinki metropolitan area, for example, because of close to good transport connections and services. However, Finland has strong regional ecosystems that attract foreign investment: in Northern Ostrobothnia – health technology, in Southwest Finland – the cleantech sector and in Satakunta the circular economy", Invest in Finland's Senior Advisor Annabella Polo sums up.

Health technology attracts companies to the Oulu region

The concentration of health and wellbeing technology in Northern Ostrobothnia has attracted investments from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany and Japan. Oulu in particular attracts pioneers in health technology and has become one of the most important centers for the industry in Finland.

For example, Konica Minolta Sensing Europe, a Dutch subsidiary of the Japanese technology company Konica Minolta, signed an agreement last year to acquire Specim Spectral Imaging, a Finnish provider of hyperspectral imaging solutions. Konica Minolta is laying the groundwork for the next phase of Specim's growth and global expansion.

The Swedish company Cellink AB has entered into an agreement to acquire all the shares of Ginolis Oy in Oulu, which focuses on diagnostic automation and advanced robotics solutions for the medical and diagnostic industries.

Concentration of ICT in Pirkanmaa

Over the past few years, several research and development centers have been located in Tampere. The region has strong expertise in the field of ICT, especially in imaging. International companies Huawei, Xiaomi, Axon and Microsoft have brought their own units to the city. Investments in the region have come from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States and Switzerland.

"Xiaomi Finland Oy, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Xiaomi Inc, represents research and development of smartphones in Tampere. Microsoft, for its part, opened a new development unit in the same city a year ago. Tampere's imaging ecosystem was founded about five years ago and has become one of the leading concentrations of imaging technology in the world", Polo rejoices.

New solutions for bio and circular economy created in Satakunta

In Satakunta, industrial manufacturing has been the basis for the development of new bio and circular economy. With the help of circular economy, it is possible to make better use of industrial by-products, for example in the form of new raw materials, which reduce the need to use new natural resources.

"In recent years, Satakunta has received foreign investments from Great Britain, Sweden and Norway. Business services and the bio and circular economy are rising to the top of the industries. One of the new examples in Satakunta is a vanadium production plant designed by Australian Critical Metals and Neometals, where vanadium compounds are recovered without the need for new mining or enrichment operations", Polo says.

The region's know-how plays a key role in attracting international investment. An OECD study published in the spring urges regions to invest in marketing a unique offer. In general, the expansion of the operations of international companies to Finland is supported by our country's stable business environment and skilled workforce.

"These investments do not happen by chance, but they are multi-year projects in which effective cooperation between experts is critical at both the regional and national level", says Annabella Polo from Invest in Finland.

More information about Finland's regional ecosystems:

Annabella Polo
Senior Advisor
annabella.polo (at)
+358 50 477 5176