Finland - A Fascinating Market to Explore
Influenced by intricate geopolitical, geophysical and economic connections, the “New North” continues to benefit from climate change through a unique combination of sea, air and rail transport oriented towards growing prosperity in the East. Finland, with its evolving and buzzing entrepreneurship scene presents a set of unrivalled new business opportunities. In many ways, Finland is the epicentre of this “New North” – a unique intersection of geography, infrastructure, education, good governance, and business environment.
Finland, an EU member since 1995, has redefined itself from a quiet agricultural based economy to a trend setting, global center for technology. Its commercial clout is far in excess of its modest population of 5.4 million. Finland routinely ranks at the very top in international surveys of research and development funding, competitiveness, transparency, literacy, and education.
Helsinki, a pocket-sized green maritime metropolis, is a mere 3.5 hours from St. Petersburg via high speed train. In Finland, nature reigns supreme and it is no surprise that Helsinki was the site of the first LEED-certified building in the Nordics. Finland, along with all its Nordic neighbors, have a focused interest in high-performance buildings that are energy and resource efficient driven by intelligent building products, services and technologies.
Contrary to popular misconception, Finland is not a part of Scandinavia. It shares with Russia a 900-mile long border, the longest contiguous land border in the EU. Slightly less than 40 percent of the EU’s overland transshipments into Russia go through Finland underscoring Finland’s role as a regional business hub complemented by its logistical capabilities. Russia is Finland’s largest trading partner and a variety of Finnish companies are successful in Russia, a challenging marketplace. We believe that there are opportunities for certain U.S. companies to exploit this existing business by providing U.S. goods via the Finnish corridor. Finland is capitalizing upon its unique position as the center of a rapidly developing marketplace formed by northwestern Russia, the Scandinavian countries, and the Baltic States, creating a marketplace with more than 80 million prospective consumers.
Finland is the only Nordic country to replace its national currency, the Finnish mark, with the euro. Finland has a largely homogeneous population. There are about 6,500 American residents in Finland.
338,000 square kilometers, of which 10% is water and 69% forest
188,000 lakes, 5,100 rapids, and 179,584 islands
1,160 km north to south, 540 km west to east
Finland's land border with Russia (1,269 km) is the eastern border of the European Union.
The two official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish. About 89.6 percent of the population speaks Finnish and 5.3 percent speak Swedish. Both languages are compulsory at school. English is widely spoken in Finland, especially among younger people and in major cities.
The Finnish currency unit is the euro. Finland was one of the 12 EU countries that started using euro cash in 2002.