Minister of Economic Affairs Lintilä: Government agreed on measures to improve the competitiveness of industry
“We agreed on significant measures to safeguard the cost-competitiveness of Finnish business and industry,” Minister of Economic Affairs Lintilä says. In its budget session, the Government agreed on its commitment to secure a stable, encouraging and predictable business environment and good operating conditions for companies as well as predictable taxation.
Before the budget framework session in 2021, the Government will agree on an industrial policy strategy extending beyond the current government term. Steps will be taken to coordinate this strategy with the implementation of the Government’s carbon neutrality roadmap and industrial low-carbon roadmaps, and to prepare it in broad-based cooperation with stakeholders.
The Government will implement the reduction of the electricity tax for industry to the EU minimum level. It was also agreed that the industrial energy tax rebate system would be gradually abolished over the next two government terms.
A new subsidy for the electrification and renewal of industry will be prepared to replace the existing compensation for indirect costs of emissions trading. In addition, the fairway dues will continue to be halved.
The EU’s recovery package will be used to drive the renewal, growth and competitiveness of the export industry.
Supporting efforts to achieve carbon neutrality
“Our goal is to make Finland carbon neutral by 2035. Several decisions made in the government budget session are pushing us in this direction,” Minister Lintilä comments.
The energy use of coal will be phased out in line with existing decisions by May 2029 at the latest. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will accelerate this phase-out with measures such as energy subsidies. EUR 160 million will be made available for energy subsidies, which is EUR 50 million more than in this year’s budget.
This package includes EUR 60 million to accelerate investments in alternatives to coal.
“The ongoing energy transition will provide a wide range of new business opportunities for Finnish companies. The agreed investments in innovation and development will help them tap into those opportunities,” Lintilä says.
Sustainable tourism programme launched
“The coronavirus crisis has had a dramatic impact on our tourism industry. In response, we are launching the Sustainable Tourism 2030 programme to support the development of tourism, business opportunities and night train traffic, and to provide better conditions for climate-friendly public transport.”
As part of the Sustainable Tourism 2030 programme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Transport and Communications will launch separate negotiations with the VR Group regarding a fixed-term agreement on the Eastern night train connection and measures to improve the service level of night-time rail services. The Ministries hope that these negotiations will lead to a proposal which could be included in the supplementary budget proposal for 2021.
The programme also seeks solutions for promoting electric aviation in collaboration between the business sector, regional actors and various ministries. Other focus areas include building conditions for sustainable tourism in the archipelago and for the increasingly popular bicycle tourism. The programme also explores opportunities for cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries in sustainable tourism.
Antti Siika-aho, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 575 4118