Preparation of the export and international growth programme well underway
More support and investments are needed to drive the internationalisation of Finnish companies. With this in mind, a programme for export and international growth, which is included in the Government Programme, will be drawn up in collaboration with business organisations and companies.
Nearly a hundred representatives of ministries and business organisations convened at an event organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Helsinki on 29 October to discuss and address bottlenecks experienced by companies in their internationalisation efforts. The opening remarks were made by Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
“This programme is one of the key priorities of the Government Programme because Finland depends on exports and on the international competitiveness of our companies. Companies are not yet fully aware of all the internationalisation services available, which is why one of the objectives of the programme is to improve the regional, national and international availability and interoperability of internationalisation services, and to eliminate any gaps between services,” Minister Kulmuni explained.
The cross-cutting objective of the programme is to grow the number of new export companies and to increase the export volumes of existing companies. To reach these objectives, the programme has been divided into five interconnected work packages:
- Providing better financial services
- Expanding the internationalisation services available
- Building digital and internationalisation competence
- Creating innovations and billion-euro ecosystems
- Transitioning to a low-carbon society
In the panel session, Aape Pohjavirta, Founder & Chief Evangelist at Funzi; Harri Mansikkamäki, International Business Development at Gofore; Otto Lindstedt Vice President at Finnvera; and Pipa Turvanen, Network Manager at Turku Talent, discussed the bottlenecks companies experience in their internationalisation efforts. Specific issues raised by the panel included companies’ concerns about the availability of skilled labour, challenges start-ups and SMEs experience with access to financing for internationalisation, and companies’ digitalisation skills.
The panel discussions will serve as a basis for further work on the export and international growth programme In addition, workshops and round table discussions will be held in November-December on topics such as RDI funding and ecosystems, service exports, digital and internationalisation competence, and reference projects. Everyone interested will have the opportunity to contribute to the programme by completing the Ministry’s questionnaire by the end of November.
A programme plan will be prepared during 2019. The Innovations and Enterprise Financing department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the preparations.
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 40 658 3510
Sampsa Nissinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7189