Despite Covid-19, international companies found their way to Finland. Invest in Finland, which is a part of Business Finland, is helping companies establish operations in Finland and to maximize their all-around potential. In 2021, Invest in Finland helped 40 foreign companies to establish a presence in Finland or expand their business in Finland.
In euro terms, these companies invested EUR 161 million in Finland last year, creating 609 new direct jobs. What's more, in 2021 Invest in Finland discussed a possible new operation in Finland with more than 1,010 international companies – which bodes well for the post-Covid era.
"All through the pandemic, we have stayed in touch with companies that are thinking about Finland as one possible site for their operations" says Antti Aumo, Head of Invest in Finland.
In addition, more than 110 of these companies enjoyed a customized, company-specific "virtual visit" to Finland in 2021. Last year, Invest in Finland also developed its aftercare services to make it even smoother for foreign-owned companies to expand their business in Finland.
In 2021, one third of the investment decisions made by Invest in Finland's customers were related to expanding business in Finland. Expanding one's business during a pandemic sends a powerful message that the international companies are fully committed to developing operations here. Foreign-owned companies already operating in Finland made about 165 expansion investments in Finland last year.
Antti Aumo points out that many foreign-owned companies have plans of recruiting more employees and expanding the amount of R&D investments in Finland even during the pandemic.
"This is a clear sign that foreign-owned companies are satisfied with the Finnish business climate," he says. Expansion investments were popular in such sectors as Retail, Health and Well-being and ICT.
In addition to Invest in Finland customers, also other foreign companies establish operations in Finland every year. According to Business Finland's statistics, a total of 331 new international companies set up shop in Finland in 2021.
In 2021, reflecting the global trend, most new entries were done through acquisitions. Hence, the number of acquisitions increased last year, as almost 75% of the new companies hit the Finnish scene through acquisitions, instead of establishing a new business unit here.
"During severe global travel restrictions, it has been easier for many companies to find new solutions and acquire talented workforce through acquisitions. It is noteworthy that Finnish companies have such a stellar reputation that even larger acquisitions have been carried out almost virtually," Aumo comments.
Last year, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Norway accounted for the majority of new foreign direct investments in Finland. Most foreign investment was directed towards business services and the ICT sector. Slightly more than 50 percent of the FDI was made in Uusimaa Region (which includes the Helsinki Metropolitan Area), but investments were also made in e.g. Northern Ostrobothnia, Pirkanmaa, Southwest Finland and Central Finland.
"Regionally speaking, most areas in Finland have come out of the pandemic very strong indeed – and they're definitely open for business."
Last year, the new-comer companies enjoyed considerable regional assistance: half of all investment decisions made by Invest in Finland's customer companies involved a regional partner.
"Naturally, Invest in Finland has wide networks in the regions as well," adds Aumo.
Head of Invest in Finland, Business Finland
+358 40 505 0477
antti.aumo (at) businessfinland.fi
Senior Advisor, Market Intelligence, Business Finland
+358 50 477 5176
annabella.polo (at) businessfinland.fi