A Guide to DoingBusiness in Finland

Finnish Market Insights

Market Overview

Finland is a highly industrialised, largely free market economy with one of the highest per capita GDP in Europe. It is an EU member and has been in the Eurozone since 1999. Due to its northern location, Finland is very dependent on the export and import of a variety of goods. Traditionally it has also served as a trade link between east and west, providing connections between Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic Countries. Finland has quickly expanded from traditional industries to a modern high tech service society. Its vast natural resources include traditional paper and pulp, forestry, mechanical engineering and metal industries. The mix of industries and services offer a wide range of opportunities, not commonly found in a country of this size.

1.4% GDP Growth

€51.8 Billion Increase in Finnish Exports 2016

2.1% Economic Growth for 2017

Get Export Ready

Finnish companies usually look for long-lasting partnerships. They are open to new ideas and partners especially if some added value can be provided. As Finland is very dependent on export and import of goods, Finns are fluent in international trade and have developed good English language skills. Finland is almost 1,200 kilometres long, so that means that distances are big. Depending on the field of business and industry in question it might be necessary to travel long distances for business meetings. Finland has an excellent public transportation network and the roads are in good condition, even during winter.

Key Market Sectors

Finland adds appeal to Irish businesses who want to scale, and develop a presence within their sector overseas.

Enterprise Ireland is playing a key role in supporting ambitious companies seeking opportunities in Finland’s cleantech, life sciences and telecommunications sectors.

Read more on Finland’s sectoral successes in our Going Global Guide.

  • Finnish forestry industry groups are among the biggest in the world.
  • First-class cleantech companies and competence.
  • Finland is among the global leaders in telecommunications and innovative technology applications.

Doing Business

Most Finns speak English however remember not to speak too quickly or use complicated vocabulary, or slang.

Marketing materials can usually be in English to start with and translated into Finnish once you have partners and customers in Finland.

Finns generally aren’t as talkative as the Irish, which can make them seem curt. When they do talk, they are very direct. They do not wish to waste either your time or theirs and will quickly tell you if they are interested in what you have to offer or not.

Best Routes to Market

Choosing the right route to market is very important.

Agents bring a deep understanding of local business practices and distributors can deliver products geographically across large nations. Joint ventures and acquisitions bring valuable established contacts, customers and market knowledge. Local representatives may not always be necessary with many global markets open to direct sales and prospecting from Ireland. Other markets require a ‘boots on the ground’ approach – the power of referrals and networking shouldn’t be underestimated. The key routes to market in Finland are through a local partner with existing contacts, distributors or wholesalers, or online selling solutions. Download our Going Global Guide to Finland to find out more.

Before You Go

Before you go, we recommend you invest some time in researching the terrain before you explore the Finnish market. Here’s a few starting points to consider…

  1. Market Landscape
  2. Market Trends
  3. Target Market
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Market Competition
  6. Market Research Resources

Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market, and country information to explore opportunities and compete in international markets.

Helping You Succeed

We are committed to helping you succeed in global markets and have an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Finnish market.

Enterprise Ireland assists clients entering new markets with pre-visit support, in-market support, international trade events, additional supports and access to mentors.

Our Market Advisers are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

Finland
John Roche

Email
john.roche@enterprise-ireland.com

Address
Enterprise Ireland Stockholm Office
Hovslagargatan 5
111 48 Stockholm
Sweden

Telephone
00 46 8 459 2160