Finland is an excellent destination for both individual employees and companies re-considering their future in the United States, says Arto Pussinen, the head of industry, ICT and digitisation at Finpro’s Invest in Finland.
“The Silicon Valley is struggling with a pressing labour shortage. A couple of companies have already moved here because of how easy it is to set up a product development unit,” he reveals.
“Our aim is specifically to attract companies with recruitment problems to Finland.”
Pussinen reminds that recent changes in the domestic mobile phone industry practically guarantee the availability of skilled R&D workforce at a price that is relatively low in comparison to other developed economies.
“[Finland] is a safe country where living and starting a business is easy. Finnish corporate taxation is one of the lowest in Europe,” he adds.
Finland also boasts a burgeoning start-up scene and robust business ecosystem consisting of businesses, education institutions and research centres of all sizes. The possibilities are vast especially in the field of hardware development, as it combines several of the country's strengths – from electromechanical and industrial design to software development, lists Pussinen.
In the United States, meanwhile, the prospect of a crack-down on immigration and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs has forced many a company to weigh up their options.
The proposed introduction of stricter requirements for residence and work permits, for example, could spark an exodus of software and technology talent from the Silicon Valley, according to Tivi, a technology-oriented bimonthly magazine (9.11.2016).
Finland could prove such talent with great services and motivating employment opportunities, Rasmus Roiha, the managing director of the Finnish Software Industry and Entrepreneurs' Association, says in an interview with Tivi.
A number of companies, he highlights, are already struggling to obtain work permits for their employees in the Silicon Valley.
The demands to encourage companies to repatriate their manufacturing operations to the United States, in turn, could open up new markets for capital goods produced in Finland, estimates Ilkka Niemelä, a director at the Technology Industries of Finland.