The significance of foreign-owned companies in the Helsinki region is on the rise, constituting over a quarter of the area's total turnover, according to a recent report by the Helsinki City Council. Although foreign-owned companies account for only a few percentages of the entire corporate landscape, their economic weight is considerable. In 2021, a quarter of the workforce in the Helsinki region's corporate sector was employed by foreign-owned companies.
Of all the foreign-owned companies in Finland, approximately 41% operate in Helsinki and about 71% in the Helsinki region.
The report also states that out of more than 100,000 companies in the Helsinki region, only 3% were foreign-owned in 2021. However, these companies employed approximately 26% of the region's private-sector workforce. The total turnover of foreign-owned companies, which was €52.5 billion, constituted 27% of the turnover of all companies operating in the region. Despite its growing market share, a comparison with other Nordic and Baltic countries shows that Finland lags behind in the number of foreign-owned companies.
Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, is the country's hub for international business. About 41% of all foreign-owned companies in Finland have chosen to establish their operations in Helsinki. In terms of employment, foreign-owned companies accounted for 24% of all employees in Helsinki's companies. Their contribution to the total turnover of Helsinki's companies was also 24%.
The report identifies wholesale and retail trade, information and communications technology (ICT), and the manufacturing industry as the most significant sectors for foreign-owned companies in the Helsinki region. Helsinki's economic structure is more service-oriented than the rest of the country, with a greater emphasis on the information and communications sector than other sectors. The wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing sectors are significant in Helsinki's neighboring municipalities, where there is ample space for large logistics centers, and property prices are more affordable than in the center of Helsinki.
In 2021, foreign-owned wholesale and retail companies employed 26,000 people, foreign-owned manufacturing companies employed 18,000 people, and foreign-owned information and communications technology companies employed almost 15,000 people in the Helsinki region.
Sweden and the United States are the largest foreign owners of companies in the Helsinki region. Swedish-owned companies represent approximately 24% of all foreign-owned companies operating in the Helsinki region. After Sweden, the largest foreign owners are the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The report demonstrates the growing importance of foreign-owned companies in the Helsinki region's economy. By providing employment opportunities and contributing significantly to the region's total turnover, these companies play a vital role in the region's economic growth. The Helsinki City Council must continue to encourage foreign-owned companies to invest in the region to maintain and further improve the region's economic prosperity.
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