Finland and the Helsinki region enjoyed the fastest growth in the number foreign direct investments (FDI) in Europe in 2013, according tothe latest EY European attractiveness survey. Finland captured 108 investments in 2013, up by a remarkable 44% from the year before, and 90 of these projects were located in the Helsinki region. As a result, Finland climbed three positions to ninth place among the top investment destinations in Europe, according to the survey.
As in the past years, Finland’s growth in FDI was mainly driven by new sales and marketing operations, especially in software and business services. Foreign companies saw opportunities to capture the ICT talent base left open by restructuring in Finnish giant Nokia. At the same time, FDI projects in the business services sector more than tripled. According to EY, Finland secured 284 FDI projects between 2009 and 2013, an increase of 158% compared with the pre-crisis years.
Turning crisis into opportunity
EY European attractiveness survey measures the reality of FDI in terms of the number of projects initiated and jobs created, and explores the perceptions of more than 800 FDI decision-makers. According to the survey, Finland was hit hard by the economic crisis but was among the countries able to successfully adapt to the demands of the international economy over the last five years, effectively turning the crisis into a marginal opportunity.
“The increase in FDI in Finland and investments from Finland abroad is a sign that our economy is becoming more and more networked internationally. The economic forecasts for Finland are currently fairly bleak so it is good to see that foreign companies still view the market as attractive. At the same time more and more Finnish companies are looking for growth through investments abroad,” says Jaakko Hirvola, Country Managing Partner at EY Finland.