What will it take for Helsinki to successfully compete for global companies’ Northern European headquarters? A group of Amcham executives is ready to dig out the answer.

Foreign direct investments bring along monetary inflows, jobs, know-how and connections. All of them are not, however, created equal.

Research shows that regional, not to mention global, decision-making power strongly correlates with a bigger number of new high-paying positions, talent attraction, ecosystem development and economic growth. Although both are welcome, a headquarters tends to be a greater value generator than, say, a sales team.

As a relative late-comer to the HQ market, the Helsinki metropolitan area is now starting to systematically prepare the ground and market itself as a regional seat for corporations. Fittingly, the work is called the Regional Headquarters Project.

The project starts with a robust case-building phase. The first goal is to gain expertise on how to serve and attract regional decision-making units. After that, the discovered weaknesses can be strengthened. The project team will all the while proactively approach companies that are looking to establish their presence in Northern Europe.

Outreach has already taken place in London and Stockholm. Amcham’s office in New York has also been briefed about the project. More is on the way.

Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council is an Amcham Finland member and a long-time collaborator in improving the local business environment. Now the Council has upped the ante by providing targeted project funding for the Regional Headquarters Project.

Helsinki Business Hub has taken the lead in managing and executing the one-year-long project, more specifically by C.E.O. Marja-Liisa Niinikoski and Inward Investment Director Jukka Jokinen.

Amcham Finland will, in turn, be in charge of much of the Nordic outreach and, first and foremost, of engaging the international business community and other stakeholders.

At Amcham, the project is headed by Rosa Thurman, who is the director in charge of all investment programs at the network. Tuomo Keinänen, Managing Director for Scandinavia, is doing much of the outreach. Amcham Finland is a non-governmental and non-partisan Finnish association that is fully member funded. Its mission is to make Finland a more globally savvy and connected market.

With the project, the long-standing Advisory Board of Amcham’s Global Investors’ Program has taken on the additional role of supervising and guiding the Regional Headquarters Project.

The steering group comprises of Oliver Rittgen, C.E.O. of Bayer Nordic, Satu Yrjänen, C.E.O. of TNS Gallup Finland, Juhani Laitala, Country Manager of Atradius, Esa Suominen, Managing Partner at Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Finland, Anil Joshi, Country Manager of Finland Tata Consultancy Services and Mikael Aro, Senior Industry Expert at Triton. Innovation Expert Kristiina Heiniemi-Pulkkinen represents the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

The members of the steering group are committed to meeting quarterly and lending their experiences to making a convincing case for regional decision- and strategy-making units in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

The project was officially launched on the morning of April 18, 2017.

All stakeholders are welcome to participate in the information sharing and ecosystem building. Contact us and we’ll be happy to give you more information.

Rosa Thurman
Director of Investment Programs
+358 45 699 5997

Tuomo K. Keinänen
Managing Director, Scandinavia
+358 50 327 6200