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Nokia hadquarters in Espoo.With the Microsoft / Nokia deal, the US will be the largest investor in Finland, overtaking Sweden’s century-old reign.

WHEN Microsoft completes its purchase of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, American companies will become the largest foreign investors in Finland. Swedish companies have been the largest investors in Finland since records have been kept.

tatistics Finland ranks the foreign affiliates in Finland by their sales. In 2011, Sweden’s affiliates generated 17 billion euros in sales. America came in second, with 11 billion euros in turnover. Over the past twelve months Nokia’s Devices & Services has recorded some 13 billion euros in sales, so this will push America into the number one position.

Increase in foreign affiliates

In 2011, there were 2,972 foreign affiliates in Finland which employed 220,708 people and generated 75.8 billion euros in turnover.

“Compared with the year before, the turnover grew by around 7 per cent,” says Statistics Finland. “The number of personnel increased as well, by some 3 per cent from 2010.”

Overall, foreign affiliates in Finland made up about 19 per cent of all turnover and employed around 15 per cent of all workers. However, this is down from the peak year of 2008, when they enjoyed almost 23 per cent of all Finnish sales and employed about 16 per cent of all employees.

The decline in foreign affiliates in Finland is mostly due to the aftermath of the financial crisis. Icelandic companies in particular had been significant investors in the country, and had to sell their subsidiaries when their domestic problems became severe.

Only one out of every hundred companies operating in Finland are owned by a foreign parent, but they make up a proportionately important part of the economy.

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DAVID J. CORD
HELSINKI TIMES
LE THIKUVA / PEKKA SAKKI

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