Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki, has drawn attention to the importance of promoting internationalisation and attracting more immigrants to work in the capital region.
Vapaavuori estimated in an interview with Talouselämä on Monday that the greatest obstacles to the growth of the region are insufficient housing production, the high cost of housing and too low a degree of internationalisation.
“A lot more immigrants are needed to work in the capital region,” he said to the business-oriented newspaper.
“Helsinki will naturally compare itself to Copenhagen and Stockholm. They have an advantage because they’re almost double the size [of Helsinki] and especially because they’re considerably more international.”
Vapaavuori also reminded that metropolitan areas are expected to become increasingly important for economic growth. He adds that the relatively high concentration of immigrants in the capital region should be taken into consideration in granting state subsidies due to the vast amount of resources required to integrate immigrants in large cities.
“We need more immigrants and decision-makers must do whatever they can to make sure people with the capacity and willingness to work can find employment,” he stressed.
He was also asked whether or not all restaurant employees should be required to be proficient Finnish. “Of course they shouldn't. If customers don’t like the staff’s language skills, they can go somewhere else,” replied Vapaavuori.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi