One of the most competitive and open economies in the world
Finland’s business environment is very conducive to foreign investment. According to the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, Finland is the third most competitive economy in the world.
Finland’s GDP amounted to EUR 224 billion in 2017. The European Commission has forecasted that the GDP will increase (+1,7%) in 2018 and speed up further in 2019 (+1.5%).
Finnish economy is firmly integrated into the global economy. According to Customs Finland, Finland’s exports of goods was 70,7 billion USD in 2017. The major export groups were basic manufacturers, machinery, equipment and transport equipment; chemicals and related products. The value of imports was 65,4 billion USD. The main import product groups were machinery, equipment and transport equipment and mineral fuels.
Foreign direct investment in Finland
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. The inflows have been fluctuating, and according to the World Investment Report 2019 published by UNCTAD, in 2018 Finland’s FDI inflows reached USD 1,2 billion. The total stock of FDI amounted to USD 67.3 billion, a 23% decrease (24.5% of GDP). A survey from EY shows that in 2018 Finland has been the main foreign direct investment target in the Nordic countries for the 7th consecutive year in a row. According to data by Statistics Finland, the majority of the investment stock comes from Sweden (32%), Luxembourg (19%), the Netherlands (17%), Denmark (5%) and Germany (4%). The combined share of the investment stock from the EU area is at 90%. Examined by industry, inward FDI to Finland are mainly directed towards services to enterprises engaged in other service activities (39% of the total investment portfolio) and other service enterprises (9%). Concerning the manufacturing sector, the majority of investments have been made in the metal and chemical industries (16% and 12%, respectively). Other attractive investment areas are ICT, software, social and health services, retail.
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.
Main reasons for coming to Finland are access to the Finnish and surrounding markets of 80 million people.