A Strategic Vision for the North: Finland’s Prospects for Economic Growth in the Arctic Region (2015)

By Polar Research and Policy Initiative

Finland’s former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen has made a study on Finland’s prospects for economic growth in Arctic and northern regions. The report is now available in English, too. Swedish version is due later in May.

The aim of the Paavo Lipponen‘s report (“Strategic Vision for the North”) was to identify the key factors that will make it possible for Finnish companies to succeed in sustainable northern business operations.

The Arctic region can develop into Europe’s biggest target for investment, the report points out. It is es-timated that investments worth around €140 billion are planned in the Barents area alone.

Now that “Arctic hype” has evaporated, it is possible to assess business opportunities more realistically – and the potential is considerable.

Finland faces an extensive range of opportunities in the various sectors of industry, energy, cleantech, logistics, infraconstruction as well as tourism and other services. To give a concrete example, Lipponen strongly encourages the efforts to make Finland a global hub for logistics, telecommunications and big data.

Paavo Lipponen outlines several recommendations for Finland’s new government, which is currently negotiated under the leadership of Juha Sipilä. According to Lipponen, Finland must set a goal of attaining a leading role in the EU’s policy on the Arctic and northern regions.

The current setting in the EU focuses around the south, but the entire union would benefit from a northern growth engine. The northern focus requires strategic cooperation between the Nordic countries, Lipponen outlines.

The report was an assignment by The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, its’ member federations and the TT Foundation.

See full report.

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