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Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Finland | Protection of Foreign Investment | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Office Real Estate and Land Ownership | Investment Aid | Investment Opportunities | Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer | Finding Assistance For Further Information

 

FDI in Figures

After having contracted sharply due to the international financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Finland have recovered in recent years.
In 2016, Finland's inward FDI reached EUR 10.5 billion on net, especially thanks to corporate acquisitions. At the end of of the same year the value of FDIs totalled EUR 76.6 billion.
Examined by country, direct investments have been made to Finland particularly from Sweden (46% of the investment stock), the Netherlands (16%), Luxembourg (10%) and Denmark (7%).
According to Finpro’s Invest in Finland statistics, a total of 270 new foreign companies entered the Finnish market in 2016. Major foreign direct investment (FDI) in Finland included Microsoft announcing plans to invest USD 14 million, whereas Fujitsu announced that it selected Finland as the Nordic hub for its new-generation Cloud Service K5. Further, IBM declared that it would open a Watson Health Center in Finland.
The country’s strengths include a highly educated workforce, a knowledge-based and innovative economy, a reputation for stability and lack of corruption, competitiveness, a strategic position at the centre of a dynamic zone formed by Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and its orientation towards high technology, research and development. Finland ranked 13th out of 190 countries in the World Bank 2018 Doing Business report.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201420152016
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 18,3041,56842
FDI Stock (million USD) 91,97280,50981,656
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 112132149
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 32.63.30.1
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 33.734.634.5

Source: UNCTAD, Latest available data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

 

FDI INFLOWS BY COUNTRY AND INDUSTRY

Main Investing Countries 2016, in %
Sweden 46.0
The Netherlands 16.0
Luxembourg 10.0
Denmark 7.0
Main Invested Sectors 2016, in %
Finance and insurance 31.0
Services 30.0
Manufacturing 12.0

Source: Bank of Finland - 2017 - Latest available data.

 
Form of Company Preferred By Foreign Investors
Limited Liability Company or public limited liability company
Form of Establishment Preferred By Foreign Investors
Limited Liability Company
Main Foreign Companies
See information on the Invest in Finland website.
Sources of Statistics
Statistics Finland
R&D funding statistics by the Finnish Government

Why You Should Choose to Invest in Finland

Strong Points
The country's strong points:
- Political stability
- A strategic geographic location between Scandinavia, Russia and the Northern European expanding markets
- A multilingual population
- One of the least corrupt countries in the world
- Expertise in green technology, manufacturing, health and the ICT industry
- An extremely industrialised economy, based mainly on the free market and that showed a per capita return similar to the United Kingdom, France and Germany
- One of the most competitive economies in the world, according to WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016
Weak Points
Finland's main weak points:
- A limited domestic market;
- High taxation rates.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
In the past years, Finland has made considerable progress in eliminating discriminatory regulations against foreign investors. The government's clear intention is to promote the country's integration into the European economic zone. Finland's strategic geographic location, situated between its European Community partners and the newly independent Eastern European states, gives it a definite advantage.

Protection of Foreign Investment

Bilateral investment conventions signed by Finland
Finland is a signatory to over 80 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs).
International Controversies Registered By UNCTAD
Finland has been involved in no case of disagreement concerning foreign investment. UNCTAD offers a database listing disagreements and the countries involved, as well as complementary information about the evolution of settlement of international disputes concerning investment.
Organizations Offering Their Assistance in Case of Disagreement
Arbitration Institute , Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland
ICCWBO , International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce
ICSID , International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes
Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
Yes
 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Finland
Index of Transaction Transparency* 6.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.7

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Guaranteed
Acquisition of Holdings
Possible
Obligation to Declare
Certain acquisitions of large Finnish companies may require follow-up clearance from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in accordance with the act on the control of foreign acquisitions of Finnish companies. The purpose of the clearance is to protect essential national interests.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Requests For Specific Authorisations
A non-EEA person or company operating in Finland must obtain a licence or a notification when starting a business, specifically in the cases of regulated forms of trade, such as the banking and insurance sector.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Finland on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Office Real Estate and Land Ownership

Possible Temporary Solutions
Business incubators in Finland, office rental.
The Possibility of Buying Land and Industrial and Commercial Buildings
Yes
Risk of Expropriation
Private property rights are well protected in Finland. Private property is only expropriated for public purposes (eminent domain) in a non-discriminatory manner, with reasonable compensation, and in accordance with established principles of international law.

Investment Aid

Forms of Aid
Foreign investors can benefit from financing aids such as long-term low-interest loans. See the Investment Promotion Agency website for more information.
Privileged Domains
Aid is aimed mainly at improving the long term competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Privileged Geographical Zones
Undefined
Organizations Which Finance
Business aid to companies is coordinated by Employment and Economic Development Centres (T&K Centers). Loans are guaranteed by the state-owned financing company Finnvera. Funding for challenging and innovative projects potentially leading to global success stories is provided by Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes).
 
 

Investment Opportunities

The Key Sectors of the National Economy
Telecommunications, computers and peripherals, computer software, environmental technologies, medical equipment, biotechnology, safety and security, travel and tourism services
High Potential Sectors
Best franchising opportunities lie in underdeveloped areas of B2B services (such as personnel, building repair/maintenance, training and IT) and consumer services (cleaning services, interior design, nursing, etc.). Telecommunications is a highly competitive sector but growing fast; e-commerce in telecommunications is expected to benefit. Finland also serves as an excellent gateway to the emerging computer software markets of Russia and the Baltic countries. The overall high level of public and private investment in biotechnology, infrastructure and technical know-how offer opportunities for foreign firms.
Privatization Programmes
Finland has opened up electricity, gas, telecommunications postal and rail markets in recent years to meet EU requirements.
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Finland
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer

Monopolistic Sectors
State-owned betting company Veikkaus currently has exclusive rights to market legal gambling services in Finland. The state has a monopoly on the retail of alcoholic beverages.

 

Learn more about Investing in Finland on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: May 2018