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News 19.11.2021

President’s Internationalization Award celebrates Long-term Foreign Investor

The first-ever recipient of the award is Bayer, a pharmaceutical powerhouse that has innovation in its DNA.

This year, the Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic of Finland added a new category: Long-term Foreign Investor. Now presented for the first time ever, the new award category will be included as a permanent fixture of President’s Internationalization Award also in the future – in order to fully to recognize the importance of foreign-owned companies’ input to the growth of Finnish economy.

Long-term Foreign Investor Award is presented to a foreign-owned company, operating in Finland, that has contributed significantly to the Finnish economy. The recipient has created economic value to Finland in form of e.g. new jobs, invested euros, contribution to export, innovation or complementing ecosystems. The Long-term Foreign Investor is an important player in the Finnish business environment and committed to long-term operations in Finland.

The new award is presented to the pharmaceutical company Bayer – an international innovator that has decades of remarkable history in Finland. In fact, the company traces its roots to the pharmaceutical production of Huhtamäki Group which began manufacturing health-promoting products in Turku, Finland, already back in 1946.

Team Bayer collecting the Award: Tomi Penttilä, Miriam Holstein and Kati Nyman. Photo: Susanna Lehto/Business Finland.

Since 2006, the business has been owned by the German Bayer, and in 2011, the pharmaceutical production merged with Bayer's earlier business operations in Finland.

Bayer invests approximately 80 million euros annually in Finland, with heavy emphasis on research and development. Over the past ten years, Bayer's investments in Finland have exceeded 800 million euros. Bayer has also been one of Finland's biggest corporate taxpayers for years: the company has paid well over one billion euros in corporate tax to Finland over the past decade.

Turku: Contraception Capital of the World

Today, Bayer Oy's Turku plant manufactures pharmaceuticals for more than 130 countries, with one of Bayer's largest global clinical research units located in Espoo, Finland. Bayer Oy's research and product development focus areas are related to long-term contraception rooted on polymer-based drug delivery technology. Bayer's contraceptive coil is the first Finnish blockbuster in pharmaceuticals, with sales of over € 1 billion since 2017.

Miriam Holstein, CEO of Bayer Nordic region, says that the company is honored to be the first recipient in this Award Category.

"We are very grateful to the President of the Republic for this prestigious award and proud of the recognition we have received," Holstein says.

Bayer's Turku plant manufactures pharmaceuticals for over 130 countries. Photo: Roni Lehti/Bayer.

According to Holstein, Finland has, for a long time, been an important and propitious place for Bayer to operate and invest in. Finland has a predictable, stable and research-friendly operating environment which makes it "an excellent place" for an international pharmaceutical company to operate in, she says.

"We are proud of our footprint and its positive impact in Finland," Holstein says.

Setting the standard for excellence

Antti Aumo, Head of Invest in Finland, applauds Bayer's achievement, adding that the pharmaceutical company "sets a high bar".

"Bayer has shown that it has the determination and sheer brain power to make great things happen – with tremendous consistency," Aumo says.

According to Aumo, Bayer is the perfect example of why this new award category was needed in the first place. Whenever Finland manages to attract significant foreign investments, this gives Finland's economic growth a boost – but having a global superstar performer running operations in Finland can be a real game-changer.

"In many ways, Bayer is leading the entire global pharmaceutical industry – and in a simply crucial role, we find cutting-edge R&D that is being conducted in Turku, Finland," Aumo says.

New significant investment in Turku

Looking forward, Bayer aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, at the latest, through the use of renewable energy and a new compensation program. Most of these measures are implemented at Bayer's site in Turku, where Bayer has also announced to invest 250 million euros to improve the reliable delivery of contraceptive products, in preparation for a potential increase in demand.

Bayer is committed to providing access to contraceptive products to 100 million women living in low- to middle-income countries by the year 2030 as part of its global sustainability program. The Supply Center Turku has a significant role to play in meeting this goal.

Antti Aumo remarks that Bayer's contribution to building Finnish society is as impressive as its innovation muscle.

"We invite all progressive pioneers, regardless of the industry, to consider Finland as the next base of operations. Bayer's example shows that both the foreign company and Finland stand to benefit a great deal in this kind of win-win situation."

All the awarded companies: Relex, Maria 01, Bayer, and Peikko Group. Photo: Susanna Lehto/Business Finland.

Read more about all the awarded companies