Exporting guide to Finland
Innovations in technology
Finland is a European leader for digitalisation and was ranked highest in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI, 2019). This is reflected in the digitalisation of services across the country, as well as Finland’s vibrant start-up culture. In particular, Finland is a leading developer of artificial intelligence, the internet of things and clean technologies.
Finland is a prosperous and stable economy, with a government focused on removing trade barriers and strengthening the multilateral trading system. Finnish consumers are interested in high quality, high tech innovations, and quality brands also appeal to the rapidly growing number of tourists visiting Finland.
Gateway to markets
Finland is strategically located at the centre of a developing marketplace that extends from north-western Russia to Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Its location can help UK businesses access wider markets across Northern Europe. The Port of Helsinki is one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe (World Atlas, 2017).
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Finland have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Pioneering 5G development and beyond
Finland’s high tech capability offers excellent potential to develop 5G services, application and innovations. Finnish tech companies are world leaders in innovative new technologies, and interested in collaborating with the UK to scale up globally.
An increasing need for healthcare technology
There’s an increasing demand for technological solutions and services to support independent living and provide better care for the elderly. Particular opportunities for UK healthcare companies exist in e-health, digital healthcare solutions and new hospital builds.
Apps and other software solutions
There’s a strong market for new apps, gadgets and software solutions in Finland. This has created opportunities for UK companies in the fields of cyber security, mobile platforms, advanced analytics and operating systems.
Ambitious low-carbon targets to meet
There’s a strong push in Finland to increase energy efficiency across industries such as construction, transportation, manufacturing and marine. As a result, the skills of UK firms with this specialist expertise will be in demand.
Finnish companies are making significant investments in bioenergy and the development of advanced biomaterials aimed at replacing plastics. Innovative solutions are under development, with international collaboration welcomed.
Demand for business services
In Finland, the demand for business services is growing rapidly due to public and private sector outsourcing. There are extensive opportunities for UK companies with competitive products and services across a range of fields. These include consultancy, advisory and legal services, engineering and design, brand design and management, and advertising, PR and marketing.
High-tech financial services
Finland is a global leader in innovative technology applications. With an innovative start-up culture, new fintech businesses and solutions are emerging. Finland’s banking sector is now one of the largest in Europe, relative to the size of the country’s economy (Moody’s, 2019). This offers new opportunities for fintech innovations.
With Lapland and the Northern Lights, Finland is a popular tourist destination. Increasing numbers of tourists visit from Asia thanks to Finland’s excellent airline connections. Great opportunities are available for UK businesses to provide professional tourism and travel-related services.
Food and drink
The increasing importance of healthy eating
The demand for organic, vegetarian, ‘free from’ and low sugar products in Finland is growing. Food innovations are received with interest, and retailers’ own label selections are growing. This is creating openings for UK exporters in this market.
Retail market structure
The food and drink sector in Finland is covered by three big retail groups, and exporters work with these groups as well as the food service industry. The retail groups have operations in neighbouring countries, offering retail opportunities beyond Finland’s population.