Ministry for Foreign Affairs warns about hard Brexit

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has warned the Finnish business life of a hard Brexit. Terhi Bunders, a Brexit contact person at the Ministry, says that they aim to raise awareness of all alternatives.

Jussi Mustonen of Confederation of Finnish Industries EK points out that the impact of soft Brexit on Finland’s gross domestic product is approximately 0.1-0.2% while in a hard Brexit, the GDP could be cut by 0.3%. According to Mr Mustonen, it would not make Finland fall, but it is awkward and harmful to Finland’s economy.

EU proposal on regional funding: Finland to receive more subsidies

The European Commission has released more specific proposals for the European Union’s 2021–2027 budget term. According to the Commission’s figures, Finland’s regional aid funds would grow by 20% from €1.5bn to €1.8bn. Eastern European countries will see budget cuts worth €37bn.

According to Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner Corina Crețu, many factors impact the distribution of funds: youth unemployment, education level, migration, and carbon dioxide emissions.

Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Kari Aalto, Director of the East and North Finland EU Office, were happy with the Commission’s proposals.

Finland might have to agree on increasing joint liability in EMU

Finland’s government outlined in October that Finland emphasises market discipline and member states’ own responsibility in the development of EMU. Finland does not support reforms that increase joint liability of member states, the government stated. Taneli Lahti of the Federation of Finnish Industries says that when looking at the euro area, Finland is in the minority with its opinion, Verkkouutiset reports. Mr Lahti thinks that the majority of euro member states support some kind of a cyclical adjustment mechanism. The European Commission publishes its proposals on EMU’s future on 6 December. Mr Lahti thinks the Commission could propose a cyclical adjustment mechanism or euro area’s own budget. « During the next weeks or months, EMU will start moving ahead, » Mr Lahti says.

Export of goods grew 18% in August

The export of goods grew in Finland in August. The growth in car export was strong, while in machines and devices, forest industry products and metals the growth was slower. The value of goods export was slightly over EUR 4.7 billion in August, up 18% from a year earlier. Import was valued at EUR 4.9 billion, rising 9% from 2016. Still, there was EUR 150 million deficit in trade balance in August, and EUR 1.4 billion in January-August.

Media:  Helsingin Sanomat
Date: 9.10.2017
Journalist: Heikki Arola
Main source: –

The EU hampers Finland’s forestry goals

Aamulehti writes that during the last year, the European Commission has taken a number of legislative initiatives on energy and climate policy. For Finland, there are many challenges from the perspective of economic growth and climate goals, as the Commission’s proposals are not in line with one another or with Finland’s goals. The means proposed to combat climate change do not take into account the specifics of Finland’s forestry objectives. The EU has no formal competence in the forest policies of the Member States, but in practice, the situation seems to be different. Finland has for a long time been planning to increase the use of wood, but the Commission’s proposals on forest use hinder these efforts.

HS: National Coalition wants mandatory e-car charging stations at highway service stations

The National Coalition Party intends to present mandatory electric car charging points at highway service stations in the autumn when budget talks start. According to Foreign Trade and Development Minister Kai Mykkänen, one charging station would cost about EUR 20 000. He estimates that, as a whole, the reform would cost the state at maximum EUR 5 million. The government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by half of the 2005 level. As part of the climate target, the government wants to increase the number of electric cars. This would also require a comprehensive charging network. « Finland could be the country that would first advance its fast-charging network so that service stations along the highways would always have an obligation to provide quick charging, » Mykkänen tells Helsingin Sanomat.

Finland ranked third in the EU’s innovation comparison

Finland is in third place in the latest annual European Innovation Scoreboard published by the European Commission on 20 June. Sweden and Denmark top the list. Finland places first in the finance and support innovation areas. Compared to 2010, Finland’s innovation performance has, however, weakened.

Media:  Verkkouutiset / Nykypäivä
Date: 20.6.2017
Journalist: Heikki Jantunen
Main source: –

’Miracle’ happened: Finland’s economy growing faster than Sweden’s

Economists celebrated the Statistics Finland’s latest figures regarding the Finnish economy on Thursday. GDP reached 2.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year when compared to Q1 in 2016. The figure was 1.2 per cent when compared to Q4 in 2016. Aki Kangasharju, chief economist at Nordea, tweeted that we have seen the miracle of the Finnish economy growing faster than the Swedish one now. Torbjörn Isaksson, chief analyst at Nordea Markets Sweden, also commented on the subject on Twitter. He was happy about the Finnish economy finally growing and mentioned that the gap between the two countries is not increasing any more. Pasi Sorjonen, chief analyst at Nordea Finland, tweeted back to Mr Isaksson that the gap is something many would like to forget.