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Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn has a reputation as one the most tenacious and organized Commissioners of the European Union. This was made apparent when he was leading the Economic policy in Brussels.

Rehn is now back in his native country, Finland, and working on getting the Finnish economy back on track. Amcham’s business leaders had a glance at Rehn’s Action Plan for 2015-2018. Below is how Rehn will make Finland the most attractive business and investment destination in Europe.

January 2016

The first reforms come down the pipeline already in December 2015 and January 2016 when Team Finland, Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and Finvera (State owned financing institution) create a seamless cooperation.

“According to the latest stats from the World Economic Forum, Finland is the most innovative country in Europe and has top opportunities for investments,” said Rehn.

In terms of investments, Finland’s struggles are rooted in the governing bodies’ inflexibility. That’s why enhancing cooperation between Finnish institutions is the first step in Rehn’s plan.

In January, the government will launch advisory assistance for EU subsidies in order for enterprises to provide more effective assistance. Finnish companies have applied less EU support than other EU nations.

June 2016

Rehn intends to get the new permitting procedure ready before Finns start their annual fleeing to their summer cottages. During the parliament elections this year, it became clear this is definitely something Finland needs to fix fast. There are companies, particularly industrial manufacturing companies, that have been waiting for years to receive environmental permits for new sites.

The government promises that environmental standards will not be undermined when creating faster tracks for manufacturing permissions.

February 2017

Healthtec, Life Science and Educations are among the list of sectors Rehn’s cabinet will have a closer look at, and those key sectors will experience a more favorable business environment in Finland. Rehn didn’t reveal the complete list of business areas, but they are all leaning on R&D.

Minister Olli Rehn and Kimmo Collander