The Greater Helsinki area attracted significant numbers of foreign investors in 2011. Helsinki shot ahead of neighbouring metropolises Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Tallinn. This is the first time that the city has topped the list in both direct foreign investments and the number of foreign capital investments.
Direct foreign investments in the Helsinki area grew by 200 per cent. In 2010 the number of investments made equalled 18, while the figure for 2011 was 54. Furthermore, foreign capital investments increased by 143 per cent on the previous year (7/17). 2011 also saw an increase in the number of foreign mergers and acquisitions: 34 in comparison to 28 in 2010. Helsinki is the only capital city in the comparison that did not see a decline in foreign mergers and acquisitions between 2008 and 2011.
According to the report, foreign investments created and secured more than 2,000 jobs in the Greater Helsinki area in 2011.
— Helsinki has a prime location, world-class experts and an easy business environment. These are just some of the reasons that a growing number of foreign companies are interested in locating their operations here, says Micah Gland, Director of Operations and acting CEO of Greater Helsinki Promotion, the investment promotion agency for the Greater Helsinki area.
Although Finland’s share of all investments made in Europe is only around one per cent, the Helsinki region raised the figures for the whole country, guaranteeing it positive growth in all foreign investment types: 170 per cent in direct foreign investments, 157 in foreign capital investments and 32 per cent in foreign mergers and acquisitions. The growth level for the whole of Europe was 3–4 per cent, depending on the type of investment.
— The Helsinki region is a growth engine, attracting foreign investors to the rest of Finland. The growing attractiveness of Helsinki thus benefits the entire country, describes Gland.
The information presented here is based on a report by Greater Helsinki Promotion, which seeks to increase foreign investments in the Helsinki region. The report compares the Greater Helsinki area to its neighbouring capital cities in their ability to attract foreign investments. The Helsinki Business Hub International Benchmark Report 2012 uses Ernst & Young’s European Investment Monitor report and Bureau van Dijk’s Zephyr database as resources, both of which are independent, internationally respected monitors of foreign investments.