Finland is perfectly located to take advantage of global economic trends. As interest in the Arctic region heightens, logistic routes from Asia to Europe are being developed, and the ‘digital Silk Road’ takes off, Finland can benefit from being at the crossroads of all of them. The country’s just right size, open data access economy and efficiency make it the perfect testbed for anything from life sciences to testing robotic Rolls Royce ships.
Strengthening Finland’s position as an essential link in global value chains is a goal for business and government alike, and was the theme of the event ‘Economic Policy Forum: What’s with the Economic Funk?’.
Focusing on international linkages is crucial. By strengthening such connections, and utilizing and emphasizing Finland’s strengths, the current economic trends work to Finland’s advantage.
It comes down to businesses to develop the needed new and innovative business models. The government should, according to Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, deregulate in a way that is technology neutral and supports innovation. Access to open data and open APIs will be key, and should be utilized more fully in driving business models forward.
Global value chains and globalization are ways for a small country like Finland to create value. Being an essential link in the international chain can benefit companies in many ways, per Petri Rouvinen, CEO of Etlatieto: being the brand owner, the orchestrator; interfacing with customers; gatekeeping in the chain; and being a core tech provider. It also means value capturing jobs in terms of high-level service tasks as well as the creation and management of intangibles.
Finland is well positioned to draw global investment, R&D and corporate headquarters, according to Henrik Thomsen, SVP and GM of Dell EMC Western Europe and Russia. Though the current global political climate points towards more closed borders, global connectedness is set to prevail.
Jorma Ollila, Chair of EVA, said that as a part of the global economy, Finland must attract and keep top talent. Tuomo Haukkovaara, Chair of Amcham Finland, looked forward: change will never be as slow as today and the marginal might become dominant tomorrow.
Matti Apunen, Director at EVA, moderated the panel discussion and challenged the panel as well as the audience to evaluate the key factors of Finnish competitiveness. In addition to conventional factors, we discovered an unusual aspect that Finland can provide and which should not be underestimated: peace of mind.
Becoming more globally savvy is an essential part of business going forward. As the Amcham Finland community, it is our goal to strengthen Finland’s link in global value chains. Globalization isn’t going anywhere; it’s just taking new forms.