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Amcham's Takeaways on the Government Program / Hallitusohjelma

For the international business community, the new government program presents both significant wins and elements of serious concern that we must urgently address. Here, we cover both.

Amcham Finland celebrates the government’s explicit commitment to a strong transatlantic relationship. The U.S. is Finland’s largest trade partner, and mutual growth opportunities are on the horizon across digitalization, defense, and the green transition.

• Driving investments and innovation is at the heart of the new government program. We welcome the ambitious vision of Finland as “the world’s most interesting place to invest” by 2031. A bold vision is key to building the trust and predictability investors need. Amcham published its flagship FDI Vision in 2021.  

Environmental permitting reform is central to the government’s investment strategy. The program includes changes such as the adoption of a one-stop-shop principle, voluntary ecological compensation, and industrial parks as a method of speeding up investments to Finland. This language closely aligns with the recommendations of Amcham’s Environmental Permitting Working Group, which were published in June 2022. See here for our key points in English.

The program sets its sights on data and health care innovation as the engines of Finland’s economic growth. Affirming the national four-percent R&D target, the program notes the need to reform the toisiolaki – the law governing secondary uses of health data – to foster future innovation. Recognizing this need, Amcham’s Digitalization Working Group has developed a set of concrete changes to the law to alleviate bottlenecks in the R&D pipeline while maintaining robust data privacy standards. Read more about our recommendations here

Foreign and security policy are also set out for a new era. This includes establishing a NATO center of excellence (osaamiskeskus) in Finland and building Finland’s profile in areas including Arctic defense and cybersecurity. Amcham has specifically advocated for centers of excellence since the 2021 FDI Vision.

“There are no investments without talent.”​

Still, we are alarmed by the government’s stance on immigration and talent. Despite persistent calls for action from the business community, the program sets out measures that are at best insufficient, and at worst detrimental to Finland’s already struggling talent ecosystem. Expanding English-language education and short processing times for specialist residency permits are each welcome steps. Still, these pale in comparison to proposed changes, such as the so-called three-month rule, that would make the lives of international workers in Finland deeply precarious.

The domestic talent pool is not immune to these disruptions. The program’s proposed cuts to housing support will likely curtail the ability of nurses and early childhood educators to live and work in relatively expensive cities like Helsinki. Amcham’s talent recommendations have underlined the importance of a safe and functional service infrastructure for international families emigrating to Finland. In its current form, the program risks repelling critical staff from the areas where they are needed most.

To be clear: there are no investments without talent. Amcham Finland and Business Finland’s 2023 FDI Barometer found that 86 percent of large multinational companies are unable to find the talent they need to grow in Finland. The talent they lack ranges from cleaners to mechanics and engineers.

The government’s vision ends in an important statement: “Through collaboration, Finland will make it through anything.” Resilience is built through diversity. Without the international community, the partnership for Finland’s future is incomplete.


Amcham Finland is the voice of international business in Finland. We are fully member-funded and advocate to the Finnish government on behalf of our members through events and publications in a range of formats.

Alexandra Pasternak Jackson

CEO, Amcham Finland

The 2023 government program highlights themes which have long been at the center of Amcham’s advocacy: FDI, R&D, environmental permitting, transatlantic cooperation, data laws, and more. Strategic talent has been one of Amcham’s priorities since its founding, and we will urgently step up our advocacy on this front. Your membership is invaluable as we continue to drive meaningful changes on behalf of the international business community.

For more information contact:

Elsa Korpi

Policy Coordinator

+358 50 472 4828