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Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Finland came to an abrupt halt in 2020. According to the 2022 World Investment Report published by UNCTAD, however, FDI inflows resumed in 2021, totalling almost USD 9.4 billion. Data from Statistics Finland shows that in the same year corporate acquisitions covered more than two-thirds of the total flow. Examined by country, net inward FDI flow was highest from Luxembourg (EUR 2.9 billion), Sweden (EUR 2.4 billion) and Switzerland (EUR 1.5 billion). Two-thirds of the country’s investment in 2021 went to the Uusimaa region in southern Finland, which includes the capital Helsinki and other major cities like Hyvinkää and Espoo. In the same year, the total FDI stock amounted to USD 98.5 billion (+8.8% on the previous year). According to recent data by OECD, the majority of the investment stock comes from Sweden (23.1%), the U.S. (18.4%), Germany (10.1%), Norway and Luxembourg (6.6% each). Examined by industry, inward FDIs to Finland are mainly directed towards enterprises engaged in manufacturing (28%), wholesale and retail trade, information and communication, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. According to GlobalData’s FDI Projects database, in 2021, 44% of Finland’s total inbound greenfield FDI came from communications, media, software, IT services and business and professional services.
The country’s strengths include a highly educated workforce, a knowledge-based and innovative economy, a reputation for stability and lack of corruption, competitiveness, a strategic position at the centre of a dynamic zone formed by Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and its orientation towards high technology, research and development. In 2022, the country's government announced several tax incentives for foreign investors to conduct research and development activities in Finland. Among the country’s weak points are the small size of its market, a high vulnerability to the international situation, substantial labour costs and a high degree of dependence of the country’s banking sector on the Swedish and Danish financial sectors. Furthermore, significant amendments to the Monitoring of Foreign Corporate Acquisitions Law (172/2012) entered into force, widening the scope of acquisitions that are subject to mandatory pre-approval. Overall, Finland has a very friendly business environment, as shown by the fact that the country ranks 12th out of 82 countries in the Economist Business Environment ranking; as well as 8th out of 63 countries in the World Competitiveness Index published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||-1,579||13,806||9,445|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||90,468||86,292||99,901|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||143||119||86|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||2,452||2,658||2,563|
Source: UNCTAD, Latest data available.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
|Main Investing Countries||2019, in %|
|Main Invested Sectors||2019, in %|
|Financial and insurance activity||18.0|
|Information and communication||13.2|
|Real estate activities||9.4|
|Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles||6.2|
|Human health and social work activities||4.6|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||4.0|
Source: OECD Statistics, Latest data available.
The country's strong points:
Finland's main weak points:
|Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors||Finland||OECD||United States||Germany|
|Index of Transaction Transparency*||6.0||6.5||7.0||5.0|
|Index of Manager’s Responsibility**||4.0||5.3||9.0||5.0|
|Index of Shareholders’ Power***||8.0||7.3||9.0||5.0|
Source: The World Bank - Doing Business, Latest data available.
Telecommunications is a highly competitive sector which is growing quickly; as well as e-commerce. Finland also serves as an excellent gateway to the emerging computer software markets of Russia and the Baltic countries. The overall high level of public and private investment in biotechnology, infrastructure and technical know-how offer opportunities for foreign firms.
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Latest Update: September 2023