Small Finland is Big in Trade with China

Author: FredericA RiviereA

Believe it or not, China and Finland are the most important trading partners for each other. With more than 11 billion euros investment, Finland is already the biggest EU country investor in China in proportion to the size of the countrys economy. Over 400 Finnish companies work and employ over 60,000 people in China. For companies like Finnair, Nokia, Kone, StoraEnso, UPM and Wärtsilä but also for many SMEs China is the key market.

Similarly, Finland has become Chinas fifth most important investment destination in Europe just after UK, Germany, France and Italy. Since 2000, China has invested about 7 billion euros in Finland and new investments of 2 billion euros are under construction. Companies like Supercell, Okmetic, JOT Automations are examples of just investment.

Even though most of Finnish exports are still directed to Europe, the importance of China to the Finland is more important shows the Finnish Research Institute ETLAs recent study of Finlands global value chains. If we put together all end and intermediary products, services and investments, there are good reasons to conclude that China is Finlands first business partner in the world. 

In 2017 63 % more Chinese visited Finland than a year earlier. The number of Chinese tourists is growing fast. Alibaba Group (Altrip) will bring annually 50,000 tourists more to meet Santa Claus and to see Polar Lights in Lapland. Among all foreign tourists to Finland the Chinese visitors spend most money over 1200 euros per visit.

Small Finland is an excellent partner for big China to seek solutions to challenges related to urbanization, energy and resource efficiency, emissions cutting and healthcare of aging populations.

When bilateral trade is booming, the importance of the Finnish Business Council Shanghai is increasing. It is important to have functioning Team Finland but also a business-driven body like FBCS in which members can share knowledge, experience and take action to strengthen Chinese- Finnish business relations. In 2018 FBCS was chosen to be one of 35 key partners of global FinnCham Network coordinated by Finland Chamber of Commerce.

Business Networks like FBCS are very relevant today when trading is no longer Business-to-Business nor Business-to-Consumers. Today, business is H-to-H, Human-toHuman. People to People! We are looking forward to develop our partnership with FBCS.