In recent years, expanding business opportunities in Eastern Finland have attracted dozens of foreign investors to visit the area. Local knowhow in bioeconomy, life sciences as well as high-tech industries have been a particular interest to investors. This positive trend is due to the joint project Invest in Eastern Finland, which was initiated to help local companies to benefit from foreign investments and to invite more investors to visit Eastern Finland.
The first concrete result was achieved when Austrian Binderholtz, a longtime customer of Finpro’s Invest in Finland, invested in two separate sawmills in Lieksa and Nurmes. This has been to date the most significant investment in Northern Karelia in the last decade. Binderholtz has retained the mill’s existing 100 employees and recruited ten new employees after signing the investment agreement. Further recruitment of mill personnel is expected to take place with future investments.
North Karelia also landed another success story recently, when Process Genius Oy, a tech startup based in Joensuu, received an investment from Bahrain. Through the Invest in Eastern Finland training program, the company succeeded in taking the presentation of its investor memo to a completely new level. Now their investor message is better suited for international markets.
The original inspiration for the project came from local authorities who saw the need for a joint project that would secure sustainable growth through investments. During the project’s pilot phase from 2013 to 2015, the project partners established a solid foundation for the first success stories. The next project phase will further develop existing best practices and enhance regional cooperation. Emphasis is also on increased collaboration with the Team Finland network and its Finpro Growth Programs.
Invest in Eastern Finland 2.0, the next step in regional collaboration, is funded by Southern and Northern Savonia as well as Northern Karelia, and regional development agencies such as Josek Oy, Mikkeli regional development agency Miksei Mikkeli Oy, Navitas Kehitys Oy, Kuopio Innovation Oy, Savonlinnan Yrityspalvelut Oy and City of Iisalmi. Finpro’s Invest in Finland is taking the lead in the project. Together the project partners are aiming to attract more jobs and sustainable growth to the focus areas. The best collaboration practices piloted during the project will be evaluated and new guidelines for cooperation with regional development agencies will be set. Invest in Eastern Finland 2.0 will run until 2018.
For more information, please contact:
Helvi Väisänen, Project Manager & Senior Advisor, Business Development, Finpro, Invest in Finland
Johanna Hiltunen, Coordinator, Finpro, Invest in Finland johanna.hiltunen(at)investinfinland.fi
This news has been updated.