The outlook for Finland’s wood products industry is positive thanks to increasing house construction this year, according to Pasi Loukasmäki from Kainuu ELY-Centre (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment which manages the regional implementation and development tasks of the state administration). In carpentry and the sawmill industry last year was already reasonable but the furniture industry is still suffering from the effects of the recession.
In 2010, the ELY-Centres and the Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs subsidised companies in the wood products industry by EUR 20 million, while Finnvera provided loan funding with about EUR 55 million. According to Loukasmäki, the funding for the sector should be directed towards the leading regional companies and developing the activities of the businesses that support them. In particular, the funding should activate the companies in developing new business concepts and hiring new key personnel.
Business services in Finland have grown steadily in recent years, according to Timo Metsä-Tokila from the Varsinais-Suomi ELY-Centre. In 2010, the ELY-Centres and the Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs subsidised companies in the business services sector with EUR 23 million, and Finnvera provided loans worth about EUR 28 million. In terms of the number of applications, the software sector was the most active in applying for state support.
According to Timo Metsä-Tokila, Finland’s business services sector has many small companies so public funding could support projects that bring them together to develop new products and services which can also be launched outside Finland.