Blog / 11.04.2017

Why does Finland attract Chinese investment?

ZHU Bin, Director, Greater China Invest in Finland, Finpro

In my role during the past two years, I have witnessed the dramatic increase in Chinese investments and, together with our team, supported numerous Chinese companies to enter Finland.


So what it is that attracts Chinese investors to Finland?


There is a clear pattern here. The majority of the Chinese investments in Finland focus on high tech.


In 2016, Tencent acquired 84 percent of the gaming company Supercell. The worth of the total acquisition was a whopping eight billion euros. In addition, China-based National Semiconductor Industry Group (NSIG) acquired Finnish Okmetic for 170 million euros. Furthermore, Chinese smart device platform technology company Thundersoft picked up Rightware, a Finnish provider of automotive user interface software. The deal was worth 64 million euros.
The focus on high tech highlights China’s strong economic growth and its structural upgrade to knowledge intensive industries.


Secondly, “Double Innovation” is a national initiative currently implemented in China. China desires stronger innovation capacity. Finland is an ideal innovation partner for China.

 

Active co-operation between companies and researchers, a booming start-up scene and strong national innovation funding together create a fruitful environment for new innovations. Finland can serve as a testbed for new products and solutions, as well as a vehicle for business and R&D co-operation between companies.

 

Finland is an ideal innovation partner for China

For example, Chinese giant Huawei commenced operations in Finland in 2008. In 2012, Huawei opened its first R&D unit in Helsinki. In 2015, they opened their second R&D unit in Finland, located in Tampere. Currently, Huawei employs nearly 300 people in Finland.


We have currently over 100 active negotiations ongoing. I foresee the Chinese interest in Finland will continue to grow. Bilateral relations between China and Finland were strengthened last week when President Xi visited Finland. It was his first state visit outside China in the year of Rooster.


I hope that in future we can welcome more Chinese companies to manage their overall Europe operations from Finland. Finland offers a stable and predictable business environment. In Finland everything works. In many international comparisons, Finland has been ranked among the most successful nations in the world.

 

With the fastest flights connections between Asia and Europe, Finnair secures fast and comfortable transportation of Chinese travelers to Finland. There are five direct flight connections between Helsinki and Chinese cities on a daily basis. A new rail freight route between Kouvola, Finland, and Zhengzhou, China, is scheduled for opening in the second half of 2017 and will cut transit times by four days. The geographic location offers an additional business advantage. With a five-hour time difference between Finland and China, these are the longest overlapping working hours within Europe.  

 

ZHU Bin
Director, Greater China
Invest in Finland, Finpro
bin.zhu@finpro.fi


Having worked within outbound investment promotion in China market for over a decade, Zhu Bin believes that Finnish innovation and China scaling-up capabilities are the greatest ingredients for the best synergy.