Suomen Yrittäjät’s headquarters on Mannerheimintie in Helsinki. (Mesut Turan – Lehtikuva)

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THE ACTIONS of Russia have significantly reduced the willingness of companies to invest in Finland, finds a survey commissioned by Suomen Yrittäjät.

The Finnish interest group for small and medium enterprises reported yesterday that 48 per cent of executives at companies operating in Finland said the actions of Russia, namely its invasion of Ukraine, have reduced their willingness to invest in Finland.

Only energy prices are a greater disincentive to investment, with 49 per cent of respondents pointing to them.

Nearly half of respondents also estimated that the actions of trade unions and the high cost of labour are discouraging them from investing in Finland. Mikael Pentikäinen, the managing director of Suomen Yrittäjät, was particularly disappointed with the impact of trade unions on investment willingness.

“Trade unions should be a pull factor, not an obstacle to investments. It is in the best interests of Finnish workers especially that investments are made in Finland,” he stressed. “As the world is in turmoil, we have to get our affairs in order because we cannot affect the actions of Russia.”

One-third of respondents viewed that their willingness to invest is undermined by the internal political situation and non-membership in Nato. Also concerns about the public debt burden emerged as an obstacle to investment particularly among manufacturers.

The reliability of authorities, functioning of logistics and functioning of capital markets were contrastively identified as factors encouraging investment in Finland.

Pentikäinen stated that such strengths provide the country a competitive advantage from the perspective of investments. “There is all the more reason to foster them,” he underscored.

The Finnish tax system appears to have a two-fold impact on the investment willingness, with the level of taxation cited as a disincentive and the predictability of taxation as an incentive to making investments.

Kantar TNS interviewed 1,033 executives from small and medium enterprises affiliated with the interest group between 1 and 11 April.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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