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U.S. Department of State
Finland Country Commercial Guide
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs

                    COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE, FINLAND, FY 1996
                             AMERICAN EMBASSY, HELSINKI


        A.  COUNTRY DATA
        C.  TRADE

This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Finland's commercial environment through economic, political and market 

The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion 
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate 
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annually at U.S. Embassies 
through the combined efforts of several U.S. government agencies. 


Finland joined the European Union on January 1, 1995. The Finnish 
economy continued to show strong growth in 1994 and early 1995.  Finnish 
GDP grew by 4 percent in 1994, is forecasted to climb 4.5 percent in 
1995 and 5 percent in 1996. These growth rates are among the highest in 
the European Union.

High unemployment and a large government budget deficit remain the main 
problems for the Finnish economy.  Unemployment is declining but is 
still about 17 percent and expected to remain high for some time. The 
new five party coalition government has presented a deficit and 
unemployment reduction program, which, for the time being, has satisfied 
the markets.

Commercial Environment

Finland has an open market economy; about one-third of the GNP comes 
from foreign trade.  Its EU membership means that the Finnish market 
will be further open to trade.  

Besides holding a leading position in the wood-based industry, Finland 
is a world leader in construction of paper machinery, mobile phones, 
medical devices and instruments for environmental measurements. 

Most Finnish enterprises are privately owned.  Most state-controlled 
companies operate on a commercial basis, according to free-market 
principles.  The government is implementing a plan to privatize many 
Finnish state-controlled companies. Finland's business attitude towards 
the United States is positive and business relations between Finnish and 
U.S. companies are based on many years of experience.  The primary 
competition for American companies in the Finnish market are European 
suppliers, especially German, Swedish, and British competitors. 

Finland's Import/Export Markets

The recovery from the recent devastating recession was based on exports. 
Exports outstripped imports by about $6 billion in 1994, although 
imports also showed substantial growth.  In 1994, Finnish exports were 
$29.5 billion, an increase of 15 percent by value and 13 percent by 

In 1994, imports totalled $23 billion.  Imports grew at a slightly 
faster rate than exports in 1994 as the economy continued to recover.  
Total 1994 imports were up 17 percent by value and one-fifth higher by 
volume than in 1993.    

Finnish - U.S. Trade

U.S. exports to Finland in 1994 were up 22 percent compared to 1993. The 
total export volume was $1.7 billion.  Principal exports from the United 
States to Finland were computers, peripherals and software, electronic 
components, electric machinery, chemicals, aircraft and parts, 
telecommunications equipment and services, medical equipment and some 
agricultural products. This trend is expected to continue through 1995 
and into 1996.

With a market share of 7.6 percent, the United States is Finland's fifth 
largest supplier after Germany, Sweden, Russia and the United Kingdom. 
The United States is also Finland's fourth largest customer after 
Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  The U.S. share of 1994 Finnish 
exports was 7.2 percent, or $2.1 billion. In 1994, Finland had a trade 
surplus of $357 million with the United States.

The deal of the decade in U.S. - Finnish trade was the McDonnell 
Douglas' fighter deal with the Finnish Ministry of Defence. McDonnell 
Douglas will deliver a total of 64 F/A-18 Hornet fighter planes in 1995 
- 2000. The total value of the purchase is estimated at $3.3 billion.    

Trade Implications for the United States

Finnish membership in the EU is not expected to have major bilateral 
trade implications for the United States, although the compensation and 
settlement for losses in market access to Finland, Sweden and Austria 
due to tariff increases associated with their EU accession is still 
under discussion. The most critically affected industry sectors in 
Finland are semiconductors, computer equipment, some chemicals and 
plastics, measuring instruments and orthopedic equipment. A temporary 
settlement between the EU and the United States was reached in December 
1994, and will be effective through the end of 1995. Negotiations on a 
final compensation package are ongoing.  

Finnish EU membership has disadvantaged U.S.-origin agricultural 
products. Certain products are subject to new import duties and/or fees 
imposed in accordance with EU rules and regulations.  Among the products 
affected are cereals, flour, certain fats and oils, fishery products, 
butter, cheese,  meat, beef cattle and hogs.  During a transitional 
period (1995-1998), Finland will be allowed to maintain its stricter 
(than EU) import regulations on certain agricultural products, primarily 
in the meat and livestock areas.

Finland, a Springboard to Russia and the Baltic Countries

Finland's gateway position between East and West was also emphasized 
when Finland became a member of the EU. The 800 mile-long Finnish-
Russian border is the European Union's only border with Russia.  
Finland's trade with the former Soviet Union accounted for about 25 
percent of Finnish exports. Finns know how to do business in Russia and 
in the new Baltic States. Finland's excellent infrastructure and its 
geographical proximity to Russia and the Baltic countries, especially 
Estonia, give Finland an advantage as a gateway to the East.  Many U.S. 
companies have started to use Finland as a base when opening their 
marketing and transportation activities to the former Soviet Union. 

Please note:

Country Commercial Guides are available on the National Trade Data Bank 
on CD-ROM or through the Internet. Please contact STAT-USA at 1-800-
STAT-USA for more information. To locate Country Commercial Guides via 
the Internet, please use the following world wide WEB address: WWW.STAT-
USA.GOV. CCGs can also be ordered in hard copy or on diskette from the 
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-800-553-NTIS. 


Major Trends and Outlook

In 1993, the Finnish economy finally showed signs of recovery from the 
devastating recession that began in 1990.  The export-led recovery was 
boosted by a depreciation of the Finnmark as a consequence of a 1991 
devaluation and subsequent float of the currency in 1992.  Since then, 
the Finnmark has appreciated.  In the spring of 1995 the trade-weighted 
index was about the same level as before the Finnmark was floated.  
Nevertheless, the currency's appreciation has not thus far hindered 
export growth.  In the next couple of years, however, imports are 
expected to surpass exports.  As the terms of trade for Finland improve, 
a major impact on the trade balance is not expected; the surplus is 
projected to account for almost seven percent of the GDP over the next 
couple of years (in 1995 almost FIM 40 billion or $9 billion).  In 1994, 
the Finnish GDP grew for the first time since 1989, by four percent, to 
FIM 511 billion ($98 billion).  The move towards a better balance in the 
economy was reflected in a recovery in the domestic sector.  

In 1994, industrial output grew more than 11 percent.  This trend is 
expected to continue during the next few years, provided world market 
factors remain unaltered, as much depends on favorable export 
performance.  In 1996, the volume of output is expected to exceed the 
level of the previous boom years of the late 1980's.  This growth is 
based on higher profitability as the number of employees decreases, the 
working environment allows more flexible employment contracts, and there 
is more advanced production engineering and information technology in 

Private investment activity picked up in spring of 1994 after a three 
year standstill.  The investment recovery was further stimulated by 
Finland's decision to join the European Union (EU), effective as of 
1995.  Investment growth is expected to continue in 1995 and 1996 due to 
favorable prospects for demand, high capacity utilization rates, a rise 
in profitability and a decline in the debt burden on industry.  The main 
emphasis in investments will be on the purchase of machinery and 
equipment by manufacturing industries and the construction of industrial 
buildings.  Furthermore, consumer confidence is improving as the fear of 
further unemployment slowly disappears.  

Finland's entry into the EU brought with it new goals for economic 
policy.  The new goals -- in particular, restoring balance to central 
government finances -- are fully in harmony with the requirements which 
Finland's own economic circumstances impose on it.  Finland adheres to 
the criteria laid down in the Maastricht Treaty on public debt, 
inflation, exchange rates and long-term rates.  Much in the Finnish 
economy will depend on the trade unions' ability to agree upon moderate 
increases in incomes and wages during fall 1995 negotiations.  The Bank 
of Finland has announced that it will not hesitate to use monetary 
policy tools to prevent the inflation rate from accelerating.  
Currently, Finland has the lowest consumer price growth among the EU 
countries:  in 1994, an annual increase of 1.1 percent, and in May 1995, 
1.6 percent.  

Principal Growth Sectors

Manufacturing: Output growth continues to be concentrated on export-
oriented manufacturing industries but recently the outlook of the 
domestically-oriented sector also started to brighten.  In 1994, metal 
industry production increased by almost 20 percent, and in the subsector 
fields of electricity and electrotechnical equipment, as well as in 
vehicle manufacturing, the output growth was close to 25 percent.  The 
upward trend in metal sector manufacturing is expected to continue this 
year, partly due to livelier demand at the domestic sector.  

Forest industry output grew almost 10 percent last year but capacity 
constraints may hamper further growth.  Some metal industry fields also 
lack capacity but in a few fields, like electricity and electrotechnical 
manufacturing, investments in additional capacity are under way.  

The Finnish textile and clothing industry faces lower duties on imported 
goods over the next few years as harmonization with the EU systems and 
implementation of the GATT agreement takes place.  The sector is 
optimistic after 1994's good export performance.  Production costs have 
fallen as more subcontracting is being done in the region, including the 
Baltic States and Russian Karelia.  

The food processing industry is in the midst of changes, including lower 
prices caused by EU membership.  Exports within the region, in 
particular to St. Petersburg, may not compensate for the loss in the 
domestic market as imports increase.  The strain of keener competition 
due to open borders will also be felt by agricultural sector producers.

Services:  Demand for private sector services is expected to recover as 
investment activity, business optimism and household demand improve 
further.  In 1994, wholesale demand for imported goods like raw 
materials, capital goods, and automobiles picked up.  Transportation 
services, as well as telecommunication operations, continue to grow at a 
brisk rate in 1995.  The financing and insurance sector did not do as 
well in 1994.  The banking sector, in particular, continues to undergo 
restructuring in the aftermath of the 1990 banking crisis.  
Construction, after a period of big losses, is recovering very slowly; 
construction of industrial facilities is increasing only slightly this 

Government Role in the Economy

During the severe recession of the early 1990s, the Finnish government's 
financial position deteriorated rapidly.  The government became deeply 
indebted because, as tax revenues fell, transfer payments under the 
country's extensive social welfare programs rose dramatically.  At the 
same time, the government was forced to bail out several major banks 
whose failure would have prompted a collapse of the banking system.  
Since then, the major aim of the government's fiscal policy has been to 
curb the growth of indebtedness.  At the end of 1994, the Finnish 
government's debt was FIM 308 billion ($59 billion), or 60 percent of 
GDP.  Despite better economic performance, the debt is expected to rise 
further:  up to FIM 370 billion (67 percent of GDP) by the end of 1995.  
The government intends to increase the domestic portion of debt 
financing; now around half of the total debt is denominated in 

The new SDP - Conservative government, which took power in March 1995, 
will continue to work to improve the government's financial situation.  
However, the new government has taken decisive action to improve 
employment, hoping to reduce unemployment from 18.4 percent in 1994 to 
nine percent by the year 2000.  The government also seeks to ensure that 
Finland meets the criteria for participation in Stage Three of Economic 
and Monetary Union (EMU).  This policy is aimed at maintaining 
confidence in Finnish economic stability.  

The Finnish government has traditionally played a large role in the 
economy.  To redress a perceived lack of domestic investment capital, 
the government formed state-owned companies in various industrial 
sectors, including energy, mining, paper, and steel; currently four of 
the 10 largest companies in Finland are state-controlled.  

The previous Center - Conservative government initiated a privatization 
program aimed at privatizing as much of the state-owned companies as the 
Finnish Parliament would permit, and the market could absorb.  The 
program's strategy is reducing the government's stake through stock 
transactions rather than selling off companies to individual investors.  
Also, the government has restructured some of its companies to make them 
more attractive to investors.  Extension of ownership in state-
controlled companies is a way for these companies to obtain capital 
since the government, due to financial difficulties, cannot provide 
additional financing.  The current government has announced that it will 
continue the privatization project.  

The Finnish public sector provides a wide array of services, including 
largely free medical care and education.  The bulk of services is 
supplied at the local, rather than national, level.

The government has a mixed set of corporate subsidies, in addition to EU 
agricultural subsidies and ongoing capital support aimed at bailing out 
the troubled Finnish banking sector.  Several working groups have been 
established to rationalize and reduce business subsidies.  Under the 
reforms, corporate subsidies would be allowed only for technological 
development and other non-tangible investments, as well as for 
innovative small and medium size companies.  In addition, venture 
capital and similar financing would be favored over less targeted public 
subsidies.  New subsidy policies must take the EU's Treaty of Rome rules 
on corporate subsidies into account.  

Balance of Payments Situation

The current account showed a surplus in 1994 of FIM 5.6 billion ($1 
billion) or 1.1 percent of GDP.  Only three years earlier, the current 
account deficit had ballooned to FIM 26.7 billion ($6.6 billion).  
Before 1994, the last current account surplus was in 1978.  The 
improvement was thanks to a record trade surplus of FIM 33.6 billion 
($6.4 billion), as well as a lack of investment projects and 
appreciation of the Finnmark.  

Net outflow of investment income in 1994 fell from 1993 by around FIM 5 
billion to FIM 22 billion ($4.2 billion).  The private sector has been 
repaying its foreign debt as part of its fiscal consolidation.  The 
government, on the other hand, continues to borrow to cover its 
financing needs and increasing payments.  At the end of 1994, public 
debt, FIM 180 billion ($35 billion), accounted for around 70 percent of 
Finland's net foreign debt.  Ultimately, it is hoped that more of the 
government's debt will be Finnmark-denominated.   

The service account deficit narrowed by over FIM 2 billion ($0.3 
billion) in 1994 as tourism showed a lower deficit and transport a 
higher surplus in 1994 than in 1993.  Finns are expected to increase 
travel spending in 1995, although the transport account surplus will 
continue to increase slowly.  In all, the current account surplus is 
expected to double and the trade account surplus to increase by a 
quarter during 1995.  

In 1994, net inflow of capital amounted to FIM 20 billion ($3.8 
billion).  Net capital imports, in the form of portfolio investments, 
amounted to FIM 37.4 billion ($7 billion), slightly more than in 1993.  
Finnish direct investments abroad were FIM 19.7 billion ($3.7 billion) 
compared to foreign direct investments in Finland worth FIM 7.7 billion 
($1.4 billion).  Investment outflows continue to exceed direct 
investment in Finland.  Some tax changes, the promotion of Finland as a 
gateway for Russian markets and Finnish membership in the EU may 
encourage foreigners to invest more in Finland, but their main emphasis 
will remain on share and bond investments.  

Infrastructure Situation

Finland has a well-developed infrastructure. Finland's transport system 
is based on an efficient rail and road network, supported by a wide 
network of freight forwarders and trucking companies.  Soon, high-speed 
trains will go into service between major Finnish cities.  Finland's 
domestic distribution system for goods and services is efficient.  Ports 
are secure and automated and loading and unloading operations are 
consequently quick and generally trouble-free.  

The well-functioning transport system and the fact that Finland's rail 
gauge is the same as Russia's make the country a good transshipment 
point for Russian trade.  Among other projects, Finland is developing 
the "gateway" idea further by maintaining and extending a highway in 
southern Finland that would reach the Russian border at the southern 
Vaalimaa crossing point.  The E18 road is part of the European Union 
Trans European Road Network system, connecting EU-member Nordic capitals 
with efficient roads.  

Furthermore, Finland has an efficient and competitive telecommunication 
system with cellular and fixed telephones.  There are also a variety of 
data-based tele services available.  This technology is also used by 
Finnish banks, among others, in their automated services.  


U.S. - Finnish Relationship

Relations between the United States and Finland are excellent and free 
from bilateral disputes except for the occasional minor trade dispute.  
The U.S. cooperates constructively with Finland in various international 
organizations such as the U.N., OSCE, and OECD.  Finland's 1995 
accession to the European Union adds a new facet to the relationship.  
Both countries share an interest in the stable political and economic 
development of Russia and the Baltic states and target bilateral and 
multilateral cooperation accordingly.  

Political Issues Affecting the Business Climate

Finland took the historic step of joining the European Union in January, 
1995 and elected a new Parliament in March.  EU accession was largely a 
political/security issue, with Finland confirming its status as a 
western, European state.  While economic growth had already begun in 
1994, budget deficits and historically high unemployment (18 percent) 
dominated the parliamentary election campaign.  The recession helped 
lead to electoral victory by the opposition Social Democratic Party 
(SDP), whose Chairman Paavo Lipponen became Prime Minister (PM) on April 

Lipponen heads a broad, five-party coalition government.  The 
Conservatives and the Leftist Alliance (includes former communists) are 
serving in government together for the first time.  This is also the 
Green Party's first turn in government.  Center Party Chairman Esko Aho 
became the first politician since World War II to go directly from Prime 
Minister to opposition leader.  However, the new coalition is following 
the same major domestic economic line as the previous government and has 
retained the same Minister of Finance.

The Lipponen Government program stresses budget reductions and 
employment promotion.  Supplementary budget proposals already call for 
cutbacks in popular child allowances, with more cuts expected during 
budget deliberations in August.  Supports to the opposition Center 
Party's farm and rural constituency will be a major target. Government 
and labor leaders seek a return to traditional broad, tripartite incomes 
policy agreements, but pledge restraint in an effort to prevent 
inflation.  Employer organizations urge moderation.  The Government 
approved a small increase in capital gains taxes, but income tax 
reductions are a strong possibility.  Finding a consensus on how to meet 
increased energy demand is a major challenge to the government, which 
now includes a Green Party strongly opposed to expanding use of nuclear 

The Finnish Political System

Finland is a parliamentary democracy with a strong presidency.  The 
president is head of state and elected for a six-year term, with primary 
responsibility for foreign and security policy. The prime minister is 
head of government with responsibility for domestic affairs.  However, 
EU accession has blurred the line between foreign and domestic policy.  
The current president is Martti Ahtisaari, who took office in March 
1994.  Parliamentary elections must be held at least every four years; 
the last election was in March 1995, and Paavo Lipponen became prime 
minister in April 1995.  Ten parties are currently represented in the 
200-member unicameral legislature.  The parties are the Social Democrats 
(63 seats), Center (44), Conservatives (39), Leftist Alliance (22) 
Swedish People's Party (12), Greens (9), Christian League (7), Young 
Finns (2), Rural Party (1), Ecological Party (1).  The governing 
coalition includes the Social Democrats, Conservatives, Leftist 
Alliance, Swedish People's Party, and the Greens, as well as an 
independent minister of agriculture.

Principal Political Parties

Social Democratic Party:  The SDP is an urban-based party with close 
ties to labor unions.  The party supported EU membership and party 
chairman and prime minister Paavo Lipponen has a long interest in 
foreign and security affairs.  Fighting unemployment while both cutting 
the budget deficit and retaining the core of the welfare state are 
historic challenges facing the SDP-led government.  

Center Party:  The Center party has a rural base and is particularly 
concerned with agricultural interests.  The Center was strongly divided 
over EU accession.  The party with the widest geographic support in 
sparsely-populated Finland, the Center's challenge is to appeal to urban 
and suburban voters in southern Finland.  Many consider the Center the 
true "conservative" party, especially on social issues.  Center party 
chairman Esko Aho is among the most dynamic leaders in Finland.

Conservative Party:  The largely urban-based Conservative party strongly 
supported EU membership.  It favors fiscal restraint and deregulation, 
pushing moderately increased individualism but strongly supporting the 
welfare state.  The Conservatives draw support from business as well as 
professionals and white color employees. 

Leftist Alliance:  A conglomeration of socialists, ex-communists, and 
disenchanted Social Democrats, the Leftist Alliance has important 
support among trade unions.  Its moderate leadership recently expelled 
members who refused to resign from the communist party.  A strong 
leftist tradition and fears by workers that the Social Democrats are too 
centrist boost Leftist Alliance support.  Remaining in a cost-cutting 
government with both the Social Democrats and the Conservatives will 
prove difficult.

Swedish People's Party:  The party draws its main support from Finland's 
small (six percent) Swedish-speaking minority.  It is generally center-
right and supported EU membership.  The party has been at home in both 
socialist and non-socialist governments using its swing vote to protect 
Swedish-speaking community interests.  

Green League:  The first green party to serve in government in Europe, 
Finland's Greens stress social as well as environmental issues.  They 
couple opposition to nuclear energy with a moderate approach to key 
issues such as forestry, taxation, and the welfare state.  They have 
strong appeal to young, urban voters and to women.  Six of their nine 
MPs are women.


Distribution and Sales Channels

Distribution channels in Finland are similar to the United States 
market. Goods may be sold through an agent, distributor, established 
wholesaler, or by selling directly to retail organizations. The majority 
of Finnish commission agents, about 200, are members of the Finnish 
Foreign Trade Agents' Federation, which has 18 divisions for different 
products. These commission agents are relatively small, private 
companies, most of them operating in such sectors as imports of 
textiles, apparel, furnishings, and raw materials.

Privately-owned wholesalers and trading houses are particularly strong 
in certain specialized sectors, such as electronics, electrical 
components and instruments, pharmaceutical and health care products, 
technical products and machinery, raw materials and chemicals. Most of 
these importers and wholesalers belong to the Federation of Finnish 
Trade, which is a central organization for over 25 trade associations 
covering the bulk of foreign goods sold to Finnish trade and industry. 

Wholesale and retail of consumer goods are highly concentrated among 
four large companies: K-Group (Kesko), T-Group (Tuko), Inex-Group and 
Tradeka. These companies distribute and sell products ranging from food 
and clothing to construction and agricultural machinery. The K- and T-
Groups are private corporations while the Inex Group is composed of 
consumer-owned cooperatives.

Use of Agents and Distributors; Finding a Partner

One exclusive agent/distributor is usually appointed to cover the entire 
country, mainly because of relatively small size of the Finnish market. 
Finnish importers often represent several different product lines. In 
selecting a representative, the exporter should check whether that 
company handles competing products. Consumer goods and similar 
merchandise requiring maintenance of stock are often imported through 
wholesalers or trading houses. Such products may also be sold directly 
to retail chains, department stores, and other retail outlets.

Contacting local trade associations for a list of importers is a good 
way of finding a distributor in Finland. Finnish importers also attend 
major trade fairs in Europe and in the United States in order to find 
new products and ideas, but also to find new principals. The Commercial 
Section of the American Embassy also seeks agents/distributors for U.S. 
exporters through Agent/Distributor Search, Gold Key Service, etc. 


The total market for franchising in Finland was estimated at $1.2 
billion in 1994.  According to a survey made by the Finnish Franchise 
Association (FFA), there are 68 franchise chains in Finland.  In 1994, 
the number of franchising companies increased by 46 percent, about 28 
percent of which were foreign owned. Franchising has increased in 
popularity during the past few
years. The increasing popularity is explained by expansion of 
franchising as a business concept - franchising involves lower risks for 
companies expanding their operations. 

Many typical U.S. franchise operations are still unknown in Finland.  In 
the coming years, the following franchise operations are expected to 
offer good possibilities in Finland: Print shops, all kinds of 
automotive services; tires, mufflers etc., dry cleaning, interior 
decorating, travel agencies, domestic and industrial cleaning, one hour 
photo shops, packaging stores and child care services. For contact 
information, please see appendix E.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is both a media and a way of selling. Direct marketing 
as a media includes direct mail and direct response advertising (press, 
radio, television). As a way of selling it covers mail order, direct 
selling and telemarketing. Both direct sales and mail order sales are 
showing a steady growth in Finland. Mail order sales totaled $540 
million (+ 15 percent) in 1994 and direct sales $80 million (+ 24 
percent). A total of $378 million was spent on direct marketing in 1994, 
which accounted for 22 percent of all expenditure on advertising and 
sales promotion in Finland. 

Consumer Protection Law and Data Protection Law are the two most 
important laws controlling direct marketing and sales in Finland. The 
Finnish Direct Marketing Association (FDMA) has also adopted "the Rules 
for Fair Play", a code for ethics, which all of its member companies 
have to observe in Finland. FDMA also maintains a so called 'Robinson's 
Register' consisting of people not wanting their contact information to 
be used for direct marketing.

Joint Ventures/Licensing

Licensing agreements are quite common in Finland because of the good 
quality of Finnish manufacturing, the small size of the market and the 
relatively high cost of transporting goods to the country.  Royalties 
and licensing fees may be freely transferred out of Finland.

Finland is involved in many joint venture projects around the world, 
particularly in developing countries in Asia and Africa.  Finnish firms 
specialize in construction of factories, and these projects often 
include infrastructure and housing facilities.  The wide range of 
products and services required by these projects provides opportunities 
for participation of U.S. companies.

Several U.S. companies have established themselves in the Finnish market 
with subsidiaries or joint ventures.  Of particular interest to U.S. 
businesses are Finnish-Russian joint ventures.  A number of Finnish 
firms are interested in using their long-established contacts in the 
former Soviet Union and the Baltic countries to market U.S. goods.  The 
Finns cite a number of selling points for using Finland as a gateway to 
Russia and the Baltic countries including physical proximity, and 
Finland's network of rail road and air connections with Russia.  Finns 
also stress that as a full member of the European Union, Finland has its 
feet firmly planted in the west but possesses unique access to and 
expertise about the Russian market. 

Steps to Establishing an Office

Finland removed most restrictions on foreign investment and ownership 
through a law which took effect in the beginning of 1993.  The new law 
abolished various restrictions placed on companies with foreign 
ownership and eliminated distinctions between foreign and domestic 

If a foreign organization intends to establish an office in Finland, the 
following steps should be followed:

1) drafting the Memorandum of Association
2) drafting the Articles of Association
3) subscription of the shares 
4) constituent meeting of the shareholders
5) adoption of the Articles of Association
6) payment of the capital share (minimum $2,950)
7) registration of the limited company
See appendix E for contact info.

Selling Factors/Techniques

Selling factors and techniques are very similar in Finland to those in 
the United States.  When selling to the Finnish market, it is 
recommended for successful entry that a local agent/distributor who has 
a sales network covering the whole of Finland be appointed. Only one 
local distributor is needed to cover the whole country since Finland is 
a small market population wise, but distances are great and therefore a 
distributor with a country-wide network is most desirable.  Consumer 
goods and similar merchandise requiring maintenance of stock are often 
imported through wholesalers or trading houses.  These products can also 
be sold directly to retail chains, department stores and other retail 

U.S. suppliers should provide the local distributor with English 
language product literature and export prices.  Strong promotion efforts 
are very important to introduce new products into the Finnish market.   
Terms generally applied to international trade with industrial countries 
apply to selling in Finland.  When selling through a local distributor 
financing is covered in mutual agreements.  It is common to request a 
letter of credit at the beginning of a business relationship.  When a 
business relationship has been established, 30-60 days credit terms are 

Advertising and Trade Promotion

About $800 million was used for advertising in the mass media, which was 
0.93 percent of GDP and $180 per person in 1994. Newspapers account for 
56 percent of all media advertising, television 20 percent, periodicals 
13 percent, radio 4 percent, and others the remaining 7 percent. All 
media in Finland is open for advertising.  

Major Finnish newspapers and periodicals and their circulation in 1994 
were: Helsingin Sanomat (480,000), Ilta-Sanomat (212,000), Aamulehti 
(135,000), Turun Sanomat (127,000), Iltalehti (108,000), Suomen 
Kuvalehti (104,000), Kaleva (87,000), Tekniikka & Talous (80,000), 
Keskisuomalainen (80,000), and Kauppalehti (76,000).

There are two different acts concerning marketing, the Consumer 
Protection Act and the Act on Unfair Business Practice. Advertising is 
controlled by the Consumer Ombudsman and the Marketing Court. The 
general rule is that advertisements may not contain claims which cannot 
be substantiated or which are offensive to minorities (race, sex, etc.). 
There are also restrictions concerning use of children in advertising, 
and advertising of tobacco products and spirits is completely prohibited 
in Finland's mass media. Advertising of beer, wines, and low-strength 
beverages is allowed since the beginning of 1995. 

Further information regarding advertising in Finland is available from 
the Finnish Section of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the 
Association of Finnish Advertisers, and the Finnish Association of 
Advertising Agencies. See section E. for a list of contacts.

Trade Promotion

There are seven fair centers in Finland with approximately one million 
visitors in 1994. The Finnish Fair Corporation (Helsinki Fair Center) 
dominates the market with 440,000 visitors (45 percent of total trade 
show visitors) followed by the Jyväskylä and Turku Trade Fair Centers, 
which together have a market share of about 25 percent of all visitors. 
According to a survey of Scandinavian Trade Fair Council, companies use 
an average of 25 percent of their marketing budgets on trade fairs. 

Pricing Product

Products in Finland are priced using the following method:

CIF price + import duty + excise tax + value added tax (22 %) + profit

Imports from the EU (European Community) and EFTA (European Free Trade 
Association) countries enter Finland duty free if the products have been 
manufactured in one of these countries.  Finland is a full member of the 
EU and has a free trade agreement with EFTA but not with non-European 
countries such as the United States, Australia, Japan or Canada.  Import 
duties for these countries depend on specific product lines.

Excise taxes are levied on fuel, electricity, alcohol, beer, tobacco, 
candy, soft drinks, mineral water and motor vehicles.  Finland replaced 
its turnover tax with value added tax at the beginning of June 1994. 
Introduction of VAT brought the Finnish practice of levying tax on goods 
and services more in line with that in effect in most other European 

Sales Service/Customer Support

Major suppliers normally establish sales offices in Finland that are  
supported by dealers.  There are also importer/distributors who use a 
network of dealers to support their marketing efforts.  As a rule, one 
exclusive agent/distributor is appointed to cover the entire country.  
Finnish importers often represent several different product lines.  
Importers may serve large customers themselves while dealers work with 
smaller customers and those located outside the Helsinki metropolitan 
area.  Dealers are often specialized in supplying a specific industry 
area.  Training, usually arranged and carried out by dealers, is an 
important aspect.   

Service points should cover the whole country and be located not only in 
the southern part of Finland but also in the central and northern parts 
of the country. 

Selling to the Government

Public purchasing in Finland is mainly done by various boards, agencies, 
centers and offices executing their special tasks under the central 
government and in the fields of health care and general and vocational 
education, by bodies under the municipal local or regional government.  
The ministries purchase only supplies needed for their administrative 
work, with the following exceptions:

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs purchases supplies for Finnish bilateral 
development aid and catastrophe aid.
- Ministry of the Interior purchases supplies needed by the Police, 
including police cars.
- Ministry of Defence purchases supplies needed for maintenance of 
buildings of the Defence Force.

Local Government purchasing is mainly done by municipalities.  About 20 
percent of health services is done by 20 regional Health Care Districts.

New legislation of public procurement became effective in the beginning 
of 1994.  According to this law, EU directives apply for purchasing 
supplies, services, work contracts and utilities.  This legislation 
applies to purchases above the EU thresholds and is binding both central 
and local government bodies as well as government or municipality owned 
private companies in the fields of energy, transport and 

Sources of Information - Announcements concerning purchasing above the 
EU thresholds are published, besides the EU Official Journal, also in 
the Official Gazette of Finland in a special issue called "Public 
Procurement."  Also announcements under the threshold values are quite 
frequently published in the Official Gazette. 

Protecting your product from IPR Infringement

The Finnish patent and trademark laws are in accordance with the TRIP 
agreement (Agreement of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property 
Rights), which provides the highest possible protection on IPR 
infringement. Trade secrets are protected by the Law of Inappropriate 
Business Behavior, which enjoins various forms of corporate espionage.  
In 1991, Finland passed a law granting specific rights to designers of 
integrated circuit layouts.

Patents:  Patents are granted for a 20-year, non-renewable period.  
American nationals have a one-year period to file a patent application 
in Finland to receive the benefit of an earlier U.S. filing date.  
Process patent protection for pharmaceuticals and product patents are 
currently offered in Finland.
Trademarks: Trademark registration is valid for 10 years and is 
renewable for like periods.  The use of the trademark is not a 
prerequisite for its registration in Finland.  However, the registration 
may be forfeited after five years of non-use without a valid reason.  
Americans have six months to file an application in Finland after filing 
in the United States to receive the benefit of the earlier filing date.
Copyrights: The term of protection is the author's life, plus 50 years. 
The government Copyright Information and Anti-piracy Center handles 
general questions on copyrights and copyright infringement. For contact 
information see appendix E. 

Need for a Local Attorney

As a result of Finland's membership in the EU, many EU directives and 
regulations have been incorporated into Finnish legislation.  It is 
advisable that U.S. companies planning to operate in Finland or entering 
into contracts with Finnish companies contact an experienced Finnish 
attorney for legal advice.

In selecting a Finnish attorney, emphasis should be given to the special 
knowledge of the attorney in a particular field of law.  Language skills 
and experience in working with U.S. entities should be taken into 
consideration.  A list of Finnish attorneys can be obtained from the 
American Embassy, Consular Section, Itäinen Puistotie 14 B, FIN-00140 
Helsinki, Finland, tel: 358-0-171931 ext. 271, fax: 358-0-652 057.


Best Prospects for Non-agricultural Goods and Services 

1.  Computer Software
2.  Aircraft and Parts
3.  Electronic Components
4.  Computers and Peripherals
5.  Franchising
6.  Telecommunications Equipment
7.  Pollution Control Equipment
8.  Travel and Tourism Services
9.  Medical Equipment

Rank of sector:   1  
Name of sector:   COMPUTER SOFTWARE
ITA industry code: CSF

                            1994    1995    1996
                                (US $ millions)

A. Total market size         560     710     780
B. Total local production    155     197     217
C. Total exports              45      57      64
D. Total imports             450     570     627
E. Imports from the U.S.     405     515     565
F. Exchange rates used       5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates

Narrative: The United States, with an import market share of 90 percent, 
is the number one supplier of standard, non-customized application 
software.  Competition for new-to-market computer software companies is 
strong and comes from already established U.S. companies, such as 
Microsoft, Novell, Lotus, Borland etc.  Locally produced software, 
mainly tailor-made business software and "Team" office software 
manufactured by ICL Data, account for about 10 percent of the total 
Finnish computer software market.

Since the trend in the Finnish computer market, like everywhere else is 
towards downsizing, an increasing number of companies are converting 
from mainframes to smaller computers with network capabilities.  For 
this reason software for mainframes has declined.  This development has 
also increased the use of micro computer software.  In 1995, the 
computer software market is expected to increase by about 20-30 percent 
in volume, but due to discounting, the dollar growth is estimated at 
about 10 percent.  

Finland's economy shows signs of improvement, and since exports are 
booming, industry, especially the electronic industry, is expected to 
increase investments in smaller, user friendly computers, thus 
increasing market potential for computer software.  

Special application software, such as group software for PCs (E-mail, 
forms processing, common data basis, document management, etc.), and 
specialized, high-tech software such as CAD/CAM products for PCs that 
allow extensive information management, have excellent market potential 
in Finland.  Due to changes in recent years in Russia and the Baltic 
countries, Finland also serves as an excellent gateway to these emerging 

Rank of sector:   2  
Name of sector:   AIRCRAFT AND PARTS
ITA industry code: AIR
          1994    1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total market size     311     468     560
B. Total local production    55      32      80
C. Total exports        44      20      20
D. Total imports       300     456     500
E. Imports from the U.S.   160     356     400
F. Exchange rates used     5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Narrative: The United States is the most important supplier of aircraft 
and parts in Finland with a market share of over 50 percent last year. 
The U.S. share is mainly based on McDonnell Douglas' market position in 
Finland both in civil and military aviation.

The civilian market for aircraft and parts is dominated by the Finnair 
group, consisting of Finnair, the national airline and its wholly-owned 
subsidiaries Finnaviation and Karair. Finnair dominates the market. The 
Finnair fleet as of December 1994 consisted of 55 aircraft of which 42 
were McDonnell Douglas planes. The average age of Finnair's aircraft is 
10.2 years. Finnair has decided to replace its 17 DC-9 aircraft with 
used McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. Since the DC-9s will be phased out by the 
end of the decade, the replacement program gives Finnair flexibility in 
the number, age, and timing of MD-80 acquisitions.

The cost of this replacement is estimated at about $354 million. A 
combination of outright purchases and leases are expected. Opportunities 
exist for American owners of used MD-80 equipment to sell or lease 
aircraft to Finnair.

The decision regarding selection of an entirely new narrow body jet can 
now be postponed for several years. At that time Finnair will examine 
new equipment from McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Fokker and Airbus 

The total market for aircraft and parts is estimated to increase 
annually by about 25-50 percent. The increase is explained by the 64 
F/A-18 fighter deal between the Finnish Air Force and McDonnell Douglas. 
The value of the Hornet deal is estimated at about $3,3 billion during 
1995 - 2000. The first four Hornet trainers of the seven ordered will be 
delivered in November 1995. 57 fighters will be partly assembled in 
Finland by Valmet Aviation Industries as a part of offsets. 

In 1994, there were a total of 1,293 aircraft in Finland: 711 airplanes, 
366 gliders, 78 helicopters, 40 balloons, and 98 other light airplanes. 
Demand for small aircraft, such as air taxis, air ambulances and service 
planes will continue in the future. The American companies Cessna and 
Piper will most likely continue their dominance in Finland's small 
aircraft market.

Rank of sector:   3   
ITA industry code: ELC
          1994    1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total market size      950    1325    1520
B. Total local production   340     475     545
C. Total exports       250       350     400
D. Total imports       860        1200        1375
E. Imports from the U.S.    170     240     275
F. Exchange rates used     5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates

Narrative: Market demand for electronic components is linked with the 
success of the Finnish electrical and electronics industry. The total 
Finnish market for electronic components is estimated at $950 million in 
1994, which is 20 percent more than in 1993. A growth rate of 15-20 
percent is predicted for the next few years, due to rapidly growing 
output of electronics industry in Finland, especially in the field of 
telecommunications. Electronic components represent about 22 percent of 
Finland's total electronics market, which was estimated at $4.8 billion 
in 1994.
Imports increased by 51 percent in 1994 and accounted for 90 percent of 
the total market for electronic components. There are three major 
external suppliers of electronic components into Finland, the United 
States (21 percent import market share), Japan (18 percent), and Germany 
(13 percent). U.S. suppliers are strong in the special components field, 
which are viewed by Finns to be on the cutting edge of technology, 
whereas Japanese are strong in bulk components, where price plays an 
important role. Germany supplies mainly electro-mechanical components to 
the Finnish market. Imports of electronic components are divided into 
the following products by market share: integrated circuits (65 
percent), semiconductors (17 percent), passive components (13 percent), 
and electro mechanical components (2 percent). 

There are few major end-users for electronic components in Finland. 
Nokia Oy, the flagship of the Finnish electronics industry, buys alone 
about half of all electronic components. The second largest category 
consist of about 30 electrical and electronics companies, such as ICL 
Personal Systems, that buy about one third of the imported components. 
The remaining 15-20 percent of the market is divided between several 
hundred smaller companies.

Upon Finland's EU accession in the beginning of 1995, Finland was 
subject to adopt the EU import duties, which would have increased import 
duties of electronic components up to 9-14 percent for imports outside 
the EU countries. As this would affect imports of electronic components 
from the United States, the EU and the United States are currently in a 
process of negotiating a compensation package for U.S. imports. This 
agreement is expected to become into effect in the beginning of 1996. 
Meanwhile, import duties will remain unchanged for electronic components 
up to certain quotas until the end of 1995. 

Rank of sector:   4                   
ITA industry code: CPT                  
          1994     1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total market size    1100    1390    1540
B. Total local production  1080    1225    1350
C. Total exports       865        960    1045
D. Total imports       885    1125    1235
E. Imports from the U.S.    265       335         370
F. Exchange rates used     5.2       4.5       4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
Narrative:  With about a 30 percent import market share, the United 
States is the leading external source of computers and peripherals.  
Local sources forecast an average annual growth rate of about ten 
percent over the next three years. With about 55 percent of the total 
import market, U.S. microcomputer manufacturers are in a very strong 
position in Finland. Competition in this sector comes mainly from the 
already established American suppliers in the local market.

Like everywhere else in the world, Finland's computer industry is 
converting from mainframes to smaller, user friendly computers with 
network capabilities.  There is already pressure in different industry 
sectors to invest in new computers. While Finnish industry has held back 
on its investments, the focus on the market has been the current boom to 
buy micro computers for home use.  Due to signs of improvement in the 
Finnish economy, private consumers and businesses have increased their 
purchases of new computer equipment and the tendency to upgrade existing 
systems is strongly on the rise. 

In 1992, for the first time ever, Finland's exports of micro computers 
were larger than imports. ICL Personal Systems (owned by British ICL) 
desk top micro computers are manufactured in Finland.  ICL enjoys a 16 
percent market share of Finland's total micro computer market.  Only 
about 10 percent of local production stays in Finland.  Other companies 
which are represented in domestic production and/or assembly include 
Mikrolog and several very small operations primarily assembling Asian 

Mobile computing (PCs + cellular phones) are considered to be the future 
trends in Finland's computer industry.  Also decline in the price level 
of computer peripherals has resulted in increased sales of high-end 
products as well as standard products.  For example, sales of top end 
color laser printers are booming in Finland.

Demand for computers and peripherals in Russia and the Baltic countries 
has began to grow, providing distributors in Finland with excellent 
future market potential.

Rank of sector:   5
Name of sector:   FRANCHISING
ITA industry code: FRA
            1994    1995    1996
            (US $ millions)

A. Total sales         988    1255    1380
B. Total sales by local firms    840    1067    1173
C. Foreign sales by local firms    0       0       0
D. Sales by foreign owned
   firms          148     188     207
E. Sales by U.S. owned firms      75      90     100
F. Exchange rates used      5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Narrative: The total market for franchising in Finland was estimated at 
about $1.0 billion in 1994. According to a survey made by the Finnish 
Franchise Association, the number of franchise chains increased by 46 
percent in 1994. As a result, there are 68 chains presently in Finland.

Local trade sources predict that the number of franchise outlets as well 
as sales volume will increase at a rate of 10 percent during the next 2 
- 3 years. The increase is explained by expansion of franchising as a 
business concept - franchising involves lower risks for companies 
expanding their operations. The highest number of chains are in services 
(30 chains) and in retailing (21 chains). However, the largest increase 
in sales volume is predicted for food and beverage franchising, which 
has expanded rapidly in Finland over the past few years. The fast food 
hamburger market in Finland is divided by three large operators, 
McDonald's, Carrols and Hesburger. McDonald's market share is 46 
percent. Carrols and Hesburger are domestic franchise chains. The 
Hamburger restaurants have been in Finland for about 20 years. Besides 
the traditional hamburger (McDonald's) and pizza (Pizza Hut), there is 
market opportunity for U.S. fast food restaurants such as salad bars, 
tex-mex food, baked potatoes and coffee bars in food marketing.

At present there are seven U.S. franchise chains operating in Finland: 
Avis, Budget, Glass-Tech, Hertz, Novus (car windows), McDonald's and 
Pizza Hut.  Many typical U.S. franchise operations are still unknown in 
Finland. In the coming years, the following franchise operations are 
expected to offer good possibilities in Finland: Print shops, all kinds 
of automotive services; tires, mufflers etc., dry cleaning, interior 
decorating, travel agencies, domestic and industrial cleaning, one hour 
photo shops and packaging stores.

The future for franchising in Finland looks promising. It is evident 
that franchising as a whole will increase during the latter part of the 
1990's in Finland. Not only do the statistics indicate this but also 
recent positive development in the Finnish economy.

Rank of sector:   6                   
ITA industry code: TEL
            1994   1995     1996
            (US $ millions)

A. Total market size      1990    2530    2780
B. Total local production   2560    3395    3810
C. Total exports       1235   1710    1960
D. Total imports        665       845       930
E. Imports from the U.S.      66         84          93
F. Exchange rates used      5.2      4.5       4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates. 
Narrative: Finland is one of the comprehensively deregulated and open 
telecommunications markets in the world. Both the volume of phone lines 
and telephones is among the densest in the world.  Finland has also 
taken over the position of second largest user of mobile telephones in 
the world.  Telecommunications technology in Finland is highly advanced.  
A major factor behind this has been competition between Finland's 
service providers.  There are two major players in Finland's telecom 
services: state-owned Telecom Finland and 46 user-owned local telephone 
companies as well as Telivo, a state-owned power company, which has 
entered into the Finnish market to provide telecom services.  

At present the United States has about 10 percent import share of 
telecommunications equipment.  The strongest competitors are Sweden (20 
percent), Japan (18 percent) and Germany (14 percent).  The total market 
for telecommunications equipment is expected to increase by 10-15 
percent in volume within the next three years.  The growth in dollars is 
considerably less over the same period due to price discounting.  Major 
opportunities for American companies are in the fields of: network 
connections, voice processing, LAN connections, data communication 
equipment, video conference systems, multimedia, etc.  The new Video-on-
demand service (VOD) offers U.S. companies potential in the Finnish 
market to provide subscriber equipment and central stations for VOD.   

Rank of sector:   7                   
ITA industry code: POL
          1994    1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total market size      550     700     770
B. Total local production   610     770     845
C. Total exports       330       420     460
D. Total imports       270     350     385
E. Imports from the U.S.     28      36      39
F. Exchange rates used     5.2      4.5       4.5  

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Narrative: The total Finnish market for environmental protection and 
control equipment, which includes air pollution control equipment, water 
and waste water treatment and waste management, is estimated at $700 
million in 1995, with the United States import market share at 10 
percent.  Due to easing of recession, this market sector is expected to 
increase by 10 percent during the next three years.  

Exports of Finnish environmental products, mainly boilers, diesel 
engines and waste water equipment, account for about 55 percent of total 
production and are expected to grow at an annual rate of 12 percent due 
to increased exports of the Finnish companies Ahlstrom  (circulation 
fluidized bed - CFB - and pyroflow boilers) and Tampella Oy (circulation 
fluidized bed - CFB - boilers). Besides these companies, one of the 
biggest local producer is Wartsila Diesel Oy (speed diesel engines for 
shipbuilding and power plants).  Finnish companies have also expertise 
in waste water treatment and are considered one of the world leaders in 
this field.  Other areas of local expertise are oil spill control.

Imports cover about 50 percent of the total environmental protection and 
control equipment market with an expected growth rate of 10 percent 
during the next three years.  Imports from the U.S. are expected to be 
slightly higher, 12 percent, due to accelerating demand for air 
pollution control and waste management equipment.  Waste management, 
waste treatment and recycling are booming due to a new waste law, which 
became effective January 1, 1994. The new waste law is stricter than the 
previous, especially in the introduction of regulations on hazardous 
waste.  This in turn is expected to help U.S. companies, since they 
already have a considerable share of the Finnish waste management 
market.  Another area for U.S. companies to look for is that of emerging 
markets of the Baltic countries and Russia through Finland.

Rank of sector:   8  
ITA industry code: TRA
          1994    1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total travel      2800    3230    3320
B. Domestic travel    2500    2900    2980
C. Incoming travel    1300    1530    1560
D. Foreign travel      1600    1860    1900
E. Travel to the U.S.     127     149     152
F. Exchange rates used     5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates

Narrative: The United States continues to be the main long-haul 
destination for Finns. A total of 66,000 people visit America annually, 
which is 4.7 percent less than in 1993. This represents eight percent of 
the total expenditure on foreign travel, which is estimated at $1.6 
billion in 1994. A turning point is expected in 1995, and an average 
increase of 2-3 percent is predicted for U.S. destination sales during 
the next three years. This is due to recovering Finnish economy and 
general increase in foreign travel, which is expected to favor long-haul 
travel and travel to Mediterranean destinations. 

New York, Florida and California continue to be the best prospects for 
U.S. travel industry, but increasing business travel and interest in 
activity holidays offers potential also to other destinations. First 
time travelers, families with children and senior citizens favor 
Florida, whereas younger people and experienced travelers favor the West 
Coast. New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Atlanta are the most 
important destinations for Finnish business people.

The United States competes mainly with Southeastern Asia. Thailand, the 
second most popular long-haul destination, had a total of about 19,000 
(+ 1.9 percent) visitors in 1994. China, India, Australia, Hong Kong, 
and the Near East (Bahrain, Arab Emirates) have gained popularity in 
1994, due to competitive package tours organized to the above 

There are no restrictions on the Finnish foreign travel. From October 1, 
1991, Finland was included in the visa waiver pilot program for visits 
up to 90 days in length. This has made it considerably easier for Finns 
to travel to the U.S. There are direct flights from Helsinki to New 
York, Miami and San Francisco.

Rank of sector:   9     
Name of sector:   MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
ITA industry code: MED
          1994    1995    1996
          (US $ millions)

A. Total market size      230     280     290
B. Total local production   300     365     380
C. Total exports       285       345     360
D. Total imports       215     260     270
E. Imports from the U.S.     48      58      60
F. Exchange rates used     5.2     4.5     4.5

Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates

Narrative: The Finnish market for medical equipment began to recover 
from the recession in 1994, when a growth rate of six percent was 
reached compared to 1993. The fastest growing subsector is medical 
electronics market, which increased by about 12 percent in 1994. During 
the next three years, the total market for medical equipment is 
estimated to grow annually by about 5-10 percent. The main reason for 
increasing market demand is replacement investments of old equipment, 
which can no longer be postponed. These investments were postponed 
during the years of recession in 1991-93, which has created a need for 
updating old equipment. The market of medical supplies is expected to 
remain stable in the future. 

High-quality and technically sophisticated medical equipment have
the biggest market potential in Finland, especially those equipment 
which increase efficiency and reduce occupancy rates in hospitals. Due 
to cost awareness and budget cuts in hospitals, the operating costs of 
Finnish hospitals have declined by 15 percent in the 1990's. Of 
individual product lines, patient monitoring systems, mini invasive 
surgery (MIS), magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) equipment, digital image 
processing, and picture archiving have the best sales potential in 
Finland in the future.

The United States is the most important external supplier of medical 
equipment in Finland with an import market share of about 22 percent, 
followed by Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and Japan. U.S. equipment 
manufacturers currently have a competitive advantage over Japanese and 
German suppliers because of the weak U.S. dollar compared with Japanese 
Yen and German Mark.

Local production was estimated at about $300 million in 1994, consisting 
mainly of dental equipment, anesthesia monitors, specialized x-ray 
equipment, and chemical analyzers. Local production and imports do not 
overlap, as they do not compete with each other. Over 90 percent of 
local production was exported because of the small domestic market size.

Best prospects for agricultural products

High Priority - beverages: wine, spirits, micro-brewery beer; snack 
foods: health snacks, nuts, corn chips; convenience foods: frozen orange 
juice, TexMex items; pet food for dogs and cats 

Medium Priority - fresh fruits/vegetables: apples, pears, grapes, 
avocadoes; preserved - canned fruits; food grains: rice; convenience 
foods - microwavable items like popcorn; seafood: salmon, frozen 
crayfish (Swedish style), white fish roe.


    Total  From U.S.  U.S.
    (US $ millions)    (percent)

Coffee    231  -  -
Bananas    94  -  -
Dog & Cat food, can.    51  3  6
Tobacco    44  29  66
Soybeans    32  21  66
Table wines    38  1  3
Apples    49  4  8
Chocolate candy    36  -  -
Raw sugar    28  -  -
Oranges    29  0  0
Orange juice    34  1  3
Tomatoes, fresh    27  0  0
Wheat    13  9  69
Cheese    20  -  -
Fishmeal    21  0  0
Flower bulbs    15  -  -
Corn Flakes & sim.    16  -  -
Furskins, raw    15  1  7
Rice    19  10  53
Grapes    13  1  8
Cocoa paste    8  0  0
Prunes    8  6  75
Raisins    6  5  83
Almonds    7  7  99
Pears    7  1  14
Seafood    5  1  20
Cotton, raw    3  1  33
Beef    7  -  -
Others    768  29  4
Total    1,644  130  8


    Total  To U.S.  U.S.
    (US $ millions)    (percent)

Furskins, raw    207  9  9
Chocolate candy    101  -  -
Cheese    84  16  19
Oats    46  45  97
Vodka    37  6  16
Butter    29  -  -
Pure fructose    24  0  0
Pork    27  3  11
Biscuits    22  -  -
Barley    23  2  8
Malt    12  0  0
Beef    18  2  11
Sugar, refined    4  0  0
Whey    12  0  0
Wheat    5  0  0
Eggs, in shell    10  0  0
Berries, frozen/fresh    25  0  0
Non-fat dry milk    4  0  0
Sausages    13  0  0
Rapeseed oil    2  0  0
Margarine    19  0  0
Bananas    62  0  0
Coffee    42  0  0
Tomatoes    9  0  0
Others    408  6  2
Total    1,245  89  7


Trade Barriers, including Tariffs, Non-Tariff Barriers and Import Taxes

Along with the entry in the European Union (EU), Finland fully adopted 
the EU internal market praxis.  This determines Finland's trade 
relations both inside the EU area and to third countries.  

Finland's import trade did not change much in consequence of the EU 
membership.  The major alterations concern border protection procedure 
towards non-EU countries.  Most of these restrictions concern import of 
textiles, certain steel qualities, in particular if from the CIS 
territories, as well as import of certain articles from China.  The 
restrictions are in the form of quotas, licensing and some other control 
measures.  The quotas are EU-wide.  Access to quotas may depend on 
whether the importer is an old, traditional one or a new-comer.  

Finland now belongs to the antidumping legislation of the EU, which is 
the principal and most comprehensive import protection mechanism used by 
the EU.  Finland has also adopted the Generalized System of Preferences 
(GSP) of the EU.  

Furthermore, Finland applies import taxes that are imposed by the EU.  
Some taxes with effect on imported products like excise tax, value-
added-tax (VAT) and car and motorcycle tax are applied on national 
basis.  The excise tax is imposed on goods like tobacco, alcoholic 
beverages and motor fuels.  The car and motorcycle tax is imposed as the 
vehicle is registered or taken into use.  General VAT level is in 
Finland 22 percent with certain exceptions.  

Finland has also introduced the EU praxis on imports of agricultural 
products.  Accordingly, some agricultural goods are subject to standard 
import licensing system, EU-wide quotas, import taxes or some other 
provisions like on hygiene of foodstuffs.  Also, Finland along with the 
other new member states is permitted to take measures, accepted by the 
EU, to shelter its agriculture or foodstuff sector during a couple of 
years transition period.

As an exception to the general EU praxis, Finland is able to impose 
higher tariffs than is the EU level on a group of items.  This is to 
shelter the Finnish industry from too radical a change of business 
environment.  Around 90 percent of the items are textiles and clothing 
but also footwear, rubber, plastic and metals are included.  The 
exception is for a period of transition that ends at the beginning of 
1998, by which time Finland's higher customs tariffs are gradually 
decreased to the EU tariff level.  

On the other hand, as a consequence of GATT suspension arrangements, 
Finland has been able to maintain lower duty level than is in the EU for 
certain industry products, the most important group of which is 
electronic components.  The arrangement was introduced to concern the 
first half of 1995, but it was extended to the end of the year.  

Customs Valuation

At importation, duties and other import taxes are levied on the customs 
value of the goods. The customs value is primarily determined as the 
transaction value of the goods imported, based on the total price 
actually paid or payable for the goods. 

In practice, the individual item most frequently to be added to the 
sales price consists of delivery expenses, such as freight and insurance 
costs. In other words, the C.I.F. value is commonly used as the customs 
value. To assess  customs value, the place of importation must be 
indicated. In transportation by ship and aircraft, the place of 
importation is the unloading location and, in surface transportation, 
the Customs Office at the frontier.  

If imports are not based on a sale (gift, rented or leased goods, barter 
or compensation deals), the customs value will be determined by using 
secondary methods. Secondary methods will also be used if the sales 
price cannot be accepted as a basis for the transaction value, for 
instance in the case where the parent-subsidiary relationship has 
influenced the price. Secondary methods of valuation include the 
transaction value of identical or similar goods imported.  

The customs value is determined according to the GATT Valuation 
Agreement and the Community Customs Code (Council regulation 2913/92) 
and the Regulation Laying down Provisions for Implementation of the 
Customs Code (Commission regulation 2454/93).

Import Licenses

Finland follows import licensing procedures of the EU.  Licenses can be 
applied from the National Board of Customs. 

Certain agricultural products are subject to import duties and/or fees 
which are imposed in accordance with E.U. rules and regulations.  Among 
the products subject to these duties and fees are cereals, flour, 
certain fats and oils, fishery products, butter, cheese, eggs, poultry, 
meat, cattle and hogs.  During a transitional period (1995-1998), 
Finland will be allowed to maintain its stricter (than EU) import 
regulations on certain agricultural products, primarily in the meat and 
livestock areas. Finland will retain its bilateral agreement with the 
United States allowing it access for 10,500 tons of Finnish cheese into 
the U.S. market for at least the next three years. 

Export Controls

Present situation:

Finnish national export controls on dual-use products is mainly based on 
three acts: the Act on Safeguarding the Foreign Trade and Economic 
Growth of Finland, the Nuclear Energy Act and the Act of Export and 
Transit of Defence Material.  The present licensing authority for COCOM, 
AG, NSG and most of MTCR-related dual-use goods is the Ministry of Trade 
and Industry.  The Ministry of Defence is responsible for MTCR-items 
1,2,4, 19 and 20.

Future situation:

As a member of the European Union, Finland applies (from July 1, 1995) 
the EU Council Regulation (EC) N:o 3381/94 and Council Decision on a 
Joint Action N:o 94/942/PESC.  The decrees and ministerial decisions 
subject to these three acts are presently under amendment process.

A major reform in the Finnish national dual-use export control 
legislation will be implemented in the near future.  A bill on this 
legislation is expected to be brought to the Parliament in the fall of 
1995 and become effective in the beginning of 1996.    

Import/Export Documentation

Imports must be cleared in writing, using forms endorsed by the National 
Board of Customs in Finland. The customs declaration form must be filled 
out by the holder of the goods or by an authorized agent. A valuation 
declaration for imports must be attached to the customs declaration for 
imports exceeding the value of FIM 30,000 (about $6,900). Also, a copy 
of the commercial invoice must be attached to the customs declaration, 
including the following information:  

- Exporter's/buyer's name and address
- Date of the invoice
- Identifying marks, the numbers, quantities, types and the gross weight 
of       the packages, including unit of measure
- Description and the quantity of the goods
- Value of each item, with eventual reductions and the ground for them
- Terms of delivery and payment
Some items can only be imported to Finland under certain conditions 
regulated by the European Union. Also, sanitary certificates are 
required for goods that may carry contagious animal or vegetable 
diseases.  All products imported for sale without further processing 
should clearly show their country of origin. See appendix E for contact 

Temporary Entry

Temporary exemption from duty can be granted, for instance, to the 

- Goods intended for public displays at exhibitions and fairs
- Commercial samples
- Professional tools and equipment

If the goods are put in any unauthorized use or are not exported within 
the prescribed time (maximum one year) they must go through normal 
customs clearance and become liable for relevant duties and taxes.

In Finland, the ATA-Carnets, the international customs documentation for 
temporary duty-free admission, is issued by the Chamber of Commerce. The 
ATA-Carnets are frequently used for temporary imports e.g. samples, 
exhibition goods, and professional equipment, and are valid for one 

Labeling, Marking Requirements

Labeling and marking requirements in Finland are based on the Act on 
Product Safety, which follows guidelines of EU Directive on general 
product safety. The following information should be included in retail 
packaging, or otherwise marked on the product (a sticker, label, etc.): 

- Name of the product (indicating clearly the contents of the package) 
- Name of the manufacturer or the name of the company that had the 
product manufactured
- Amount of contents (weight or volume of the contents to be specified, 
measures in metric system).

If warranted by safety considerations or economic security of the 
consumer, the following information should also be included on the 
retail packaging or otherwise clearly identified on the product: 
contents of the product, care instructions, operating instructions, and 
a warning of possible danger related to the use or disposal of the 

Finland has exact labelling requirements for foods. A retail-size food 
package must show the name of the manufacturer, packer or importer, 
commercial name of the product, net metric weight or volume, ingredients 
in descending order of weight, last recommended date of sale, and 
storage instructions if perishable or intended for infants.  Mandatory 
information described above must be labelled in Finnish and Swedish.  

Prohibited Imports

It is prohibited to import the following products into Finland:

- Halogenated derivatives of acyclic hydrocarbons containing two 
  or more different halogens
- PCB and PCT chemicals used in transformers and condensers causing 
problem       wastes
- Alcohol beverages which contain 60 percent or more alcohol
- Certain kinds of home brew wine kits
- Whale meat 

Standards (e.g. ISO 9000 usage)

Certification is the indication of conformance with standards with a 
mark or certification. It is highly recommended that U.S. products 
imported into Finland meet international or European standards.  
Examples of products where reference to standards is mandatory are 
electrical equipment, machines, toys, pressure vessels and oil 
containers, and personal protective equipment (e.g. crash helmets). 

The central body for standardization in Finland is the Finnish Standards 
Association (SFS). It is a member of the ISO (International Organization 
for Standardization) and CEN (Comite Europeen de Normalisation). All 
European and a part of international standards are compatible with 
national SFS standards. There are about 6,000 SFS standards in Finland, 
of which 60 percent are identical to European (e.g. CE-marking) or 
international standards. 

SFS marks are used to indicate that products or services meet the 
requirement of SFS standards, and CE-marking to indicate that products 
meet the requirements of EU directives. CE-marking acquired in any of 
the EU/EEA countries is also valid in Finland. There are seven Notified 
Bodies in Finland granting the CE-marking. 

SFS also certifies quality systems at companies, on the basis of 
standards ISO 9000 (identified with EN ISO 9000 and published in Finland 
as SFS-EN ISO 9000).  Certification can be granted to a company if the 
quality system meets the requirements of SFS-EN ISO 9001, SFS-EN ISO 
9002 or SFS-EN ISO 9003 standard. 

SFS is also in charge of the Nordic Environmental Label and the EU eco-

Free Trade Zones/Warehouses

See page 31.

Special Import Provisions

The EU customs union system is applied in Finland.  Special import 
provisions concern import of certain articles that might damage health, 
welfare or country's economy, or result in spreading of animal and plant 
diseases.  The provisions are either EU-wide or set according to 
national standards.  

Subject to restrictions are, among others, the following:
- foodstuffs, 
- fodder and fertilizers,
- alcoholic beverages and other products containing alcohol,
- medicines,
- narcotics and dangerous drugs,
- some chemicals,
- nuclear and radioactive substances,
- explosives,
- blade knives, firearms and ammunition,
- obscene publications,
- pressure vessels.  

Membership in Free Trade Arrangements

Finland became a member in the European Union (EU) along with some other 
countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), on January 
first, 1995.  The customs union membership, among other harmonization, 
means that Finland complies with the variety of trade agreements that 
the EU has made with third countries.  


Openness to Foreign Investment

The Finnish Government maintains a favorable attitude toward direct 
foreign investment in Finnish business.  In 1993, laws restricting 
foreign ownership were abolished (by Decree no. 1612/92) to confirm the 
already commonly accepted liberal treatment of foreign investments in 
Finland.  The "Invest in Finland Bureau" operates within the government-
sponsored Finnish Foreign Trade Association.  Its purpose is to provide 
potential investors with detailed information on investing in Finland.  
Thanks to this liberalization, as well as Finland's entry into the 
European Union, the opening of ex-Soviet markets -- ensuring Finland a 
way to act as a gateway country -- and Finland's economic recovery, 
foreign investments in Finnish companies have increased dramatically 
during the past few years.  

In most fields of business activity there are no bars to participation 
by foreign companies or individuals.  Sectors that are open only to 
Finnish nationals are related to national order and security.  

The government has monitored procedures for foreign acquisitions 
involving a third or more of the stock of large Finnish companies since 
1992, but will stop this practice at the end of 1995.  Just over 100 
companies having 1000 or more employees or an annual turnover or year-
end assets of at least FIM one billion ($200 million) are affected by 
this provision.  To comply, companies must notify the Ministry of Trade 
and Industry before the acquisition.  The Ministry then weighs whether 
the acquisition jeopardizes "essential national interests" or not.  The 
Ministry has claimed that evaluations are conducted in a liberal spirit.   

There are some requirements that do not restrict foreign ownership but 
are necessary on legal responsibility grounds.  Thus, a non-European 
Economic Area resident (person or company) needs in Finland to refer to 
the authorities for the sake of a license or a notification when 
starting a business in a few "regulated" forms of trade such as:  
banking and insurance, nuclear energy related activities, mining, 
manufacturing and sale of medicinal substances, dangerous chemicals and 
explosives, private security services, travel agencies, transportation, 
fisheries, restaurant and catering services as well as real estate 
brokerage.  Supply of mandatory labor pension insurance and workers' 
compensation is possible only through a company established in Finland.  
This provision safeguards compliance with the Finnish social security 

The Aland Islands are an exception to the common Finnish usage:  based 
on international agreements dating from 1921, property ownership and the 
right to conduct business is limited to only those individuals with 
particular right of domicile in the Aland Islands.  

Conversion and Transfer Policies

Finland does not apply any exchange controls.  There are no restrictions 
on transferring investment capital or profits abroad in freely 
convertible currencies at a legal market rate.  There is no limit on 
dividend distributions, as long as they correspond to a company's 
official earnings records.  Investors, from countries like the United 
States, with which Finland has a bilateral agreement to avoid double 
taxation, are exempted from withholding tax on investment earnings.  If 
a foreign company ceases operations in Finland, all of its assets may be 
repatriated without restriction.

The Bank of Finland compiles the country's balance of payments data.  To 
this end, the main details of all single payment items exceeding FIM 
50,000 ($11,630) are to be submitted on a form either to the Finnish 
bank effecting the payment or directly to the Bank of Finland.  

Expropriation and Compensation

Private property rights are well protected in Finland.  There have been 
no cases of expropriation or nationalization since the Second World War.

Dispute Settlement

In 1969, Finland became a member of the International Center for the 
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).  There is no record of any 
significant investment dispute in the last three decades.

Political Violence

There have been no instances of political violence since the struggle 
for independence in 1918.

Performance Requirements/Incentives

There are no performance requirements or commitments imposed on foreign 
investment in Finland.  However, in order to do business in Finland, 
some residency requirements should be met to ensure that persons liable 
for the company's acts can be brought to courts if necessary.  

Consequently, for a company to be located in Finland, the key personnel 
(half of the members in a company's board of directors and the managing 
director) must be residents in the European Economic Area (EEA).  Also, 
at least half of the founders (natural or legal persons) of a company to 
be established in Finland must reside within the EEA.  Otherwise, a 
special permit issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry is needed.  
The residence requirement can, in most cases, be fulfilled also by 
appointing a legal representative with residence in Finland to be in 
charge of the business.  

There are no specific incentives available for direct foreign 
investment.  However, to make Finland more attractive for company 
activities, the corporate income tax was recently lowered from 60 
percent down to 25 percent, one of the lowest among the Western 
industrial countries.  

All companies registered in Finland have access to government assistance 
under special development programs.  Assistance and subsidies are 
granted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry or other ministries 
depending on the field of business activity, the Ministry of Trade and 
Industry related Regional Development Fund (KERA) and Technology 
Development Center (TEKES), as well as Parliament managed venture 
capital fund, the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development 
(SITRA).  Due to Finland's membership in the European Union (EU), 
companies operating in Finland have access to EU structural funds 
through nationally outlined programs.  EU funding may cover half of 
total costs of a program provided that the other half comes from 
national private or/and public sources.  

Indirect and direct subsidies are provided in the form of tax relief, 
low-interest loans, guarantees, and grants, as well as in supply of 
expertise and training.  Subsidies may be given for development of 
technology, new products and production methods, more efficient energy 
supply, employment creation, start-up of business activity (in 
particular among small and medium size industry and in case of an 
unemployed person) diversification of industrial structure, balancing of 
regional economic differences, export promotion etc.  

As a consequence of the deep economic recession and its impact on public 
expenditures, the government is revising its subsidy policy.  Also, 
Finland's EU membership requires compliance with the Treaty of Rome, and 
has necessitated some changes in the Finnish subsidy system.  

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Private ownership and entrepreneurship are well respected in Finland.  
In most fields of business activity, participation by foreign companies 
or individuals is unrestricted.  Forms of business related to national 
order and security are reserved for Finnish nationals.  

As the government pursues privatization of state-owned companies, 
foreigners' participation is welcome except in some enterprises 
operating, again, in sectors related to national security where the 
government wants to keep a major interest.     

Competitive equality is the official standard applied to private 
enterprises in competition with public enterprises.  Private companies 
do not face discrimination.  

In any real estate purchase of leisure or recreation property by a 
person without residence status in Finland, a permission from provincial 
government of location of the land is needed.  Permission may be denied 
if use of this property hampers environmental protection or the domestic 
population's chances to purchase a vacation site.  The law defining the 
permission procedure is in force up to the end of 1999.  Frontier zone 
property acquisitions at the Russian border area may be restricted for 
reasons of security.  

Protection of Property Rights

The Finnish legal system protects property rights, including 
intellectual property, and Finland adheres to numerous international 
agreements concerning intellectual property:  Finland has joined the 
most important copyright agreements, and patent rights are well 
harmonized according to the international standards.  Finland is joining 
the European Patent Convention (EPC) within one year.  

The Finnish Copyright Act, which traditionally also grants protection to 
authors, performing artists, record producers, broadcasting 
organizations and catalog producers, is to be adjusted to comply with EU 
directives.  As part of this harmonization, the period of copyright 
protection will be extended from the current 50 years to 70 years.  
Protection for data base producers (currently a part of catalog producer 
rights) will be defined consistent with EU practice.  National 
transition period procedures are defined in Parliament.  
The Finnish Copyright Act provides for sanctions ranging from fines to 
imprisonment for up to two years.  Search and seizure are authorized in 
the case of criminal piracy, as is the forfeiture of financial gains.  
Computer software is covered by the Copyright Act since January 1991.   

Information on copying and copyright infringement is dealt with several 
copyright holder interest organizations such as the Copyright 
Information and Anti-Piracy Center, as well as the Business Software 
Alliance, whose recent survey shows that in Finland, the rate of  
software piracy is one of the lowest in Europe.    

Regulatory System: Laws and Procedures

The Trade Act, as well as specific legislation referred to in it, 
provides for more detailed information on trade practices in Finland.  
The section three of the Trade Act names the "regulated forms of trade" 
in which a non-EEA resident needs a permission from the Ministry of 
Trade and Industry or a notification submitted to the authorities (see 
section Openness to Foreign Investments).  Also, according to the Trade 
Act, everyone launching a business in Finland is obliged to submit a 
notice to the Trade Register, which is maintained by the National Board 
of Patents and Registration.  

Every major shareholder is due to follow the 'flagging rule' of the 
Securities Market Act, which requires that the enterprise in question 
and the supervisory authority must be reported whenever shareholding 
stake exceeds certain percentage of total shares of the company.  
Individuals purchasing a 10 percent or a large holding are required to 
report their purchase.  Individuals owning more than two thirds of the 
voting shares may be required to purchase the remaining voting shares if 
minority shareholders want to divest.  

Competition policy in Finland is set by the Act on Restriction on 
Competition (the recent amendment was introduced in fall of 1992).  This 
law is in harmony with the EU competition policy.  The principal 
difference is that Finland does not screen proposed large mergers and 
acquisitions before the fact, but Finnish authorities will act to break 
up such arrangements if it is determined that the new entity is 
restricting competition.  

Finnish tax, labor, health and safety, and related laws and policies are 
largely neutral towards the efficient mobilization and allocation of 
investment.  Finnish legislation does not normally influence the 
regional distribution of investments except when specifically designed 
to do so, such as through regional incentive programs.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

Finland has concluded bilateral investment agreements with the following 
countries:  Belarus, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, 
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Russia, 
Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs

In August 1992, OPIC and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation 
(Finnfund) signed a Principles of Cooperation Agreement.  The two 
organizations agreed to share information concerning opportunities for 
private investment, exchange knowledge of techniques for the 
encouragement and sustenance of investment, including approaches to risk 
mitigation and
management, and encourage cooperative enterprises among their nationals 
to finance private investment in developing economies.  The former 
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are particular points of emphasis.  
Finland has been a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee 
Agency (MIGA) since 1988.


The Finnish labor force is highly skilled and well-educated.  Less than 
nine percent is employed in primary sector, around a quarter in 
secondary sector and two-thirds in tertiary sector occupations.  The 
percentage of women in the 2.5 million member work force is high, around 
48 percent.  About 80 percent of the work force is organized.  

Finland has suffered from high unemployment through the 1990's:  
unemployment during the recession peaked in early 1994 at around 20 
percent.  Unemployed are granted a compensation which if linked to 
earnings, as has been the case among around 60 percent of unemployed, 
guarantees moderate incomes for a period up to 500 working days.  
Simultaneously with unemployment there has been a shortage of skilled 
labor in some specialty sectors like telecommunication.  

Although Finnish labor is relatively less expensive than during the 
eighties boom years, labor costs are still high.  Indirect labor costs 
are over 80 percent of direct costs.  High costs have led much of 
Finnish industry to use labor-saving high technology whenever possible.  

Labor relations in Finland have been conducted within the framework of a 
highly centralized system of national negotiations on wages and working 
conditions for the past several decades.  However, no centralized 
agreements were made in 1993.  The next test on durability of the 
traditional system will be faced in the fall of 1995 in a situation 
where export industry is deriving high yields whereas the domestic 
sector is just beginning to recover.  High unemployment has made trade 
unions inclined to discuss introduction of greater flexibilities in 
terms of hours and wages.  Finland adheres to most ILO conventions; 
enforcement of worker rights is effective.  

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports

Finland's only free port is Hanko, located at the southernmost tip of 
the country from where there is an all-year round railway-ferry link 
with Travemunde in Germany.  In addition, there are almost twenty free 
storage areas in other locations in the country.  The free storage 
areas, which are usually run by municipal corporations, are available to 
all companies, both domestic and foreign-owned.  Warehousing, assembly 
and manufacturing are allowed in these areas, with government permission 
obtained through the Board of Customs (see appendix E for contact info).

Capital Outflow Policy

No policies exist governing the export of capital and outward direct 
investment.  Holders of capital, Finnish and foreign, can move funds at 
will.  Finnfund, the Finnish counterpart of OPIC, provides insurance and 
financing for investment in developing countries and the ex-Soviet Union 

Major Foreign Investors

The six largest foreign companies in Finland in terms of turnover (1994)  

- ABB Strömberg, FIM 6.3 billion (USD 1.2 billion) 
Country of origin:  Sweden/Switzerland 
Sector of operation:  Electronics 

- ICL Data, FIM 3.9 billion (USD 0.7 billion) 
Country of origin:  United Kingdom 
Sector of operation:  Data processing 

- Teboil, FIM 3.8 billion (USD 0.7 billion)  
Country of origin:  Russia 
Sector of operation:  Oil trade 

- Shell, FIM 2.5 billion (USD 0.4 billion)  
Country of origin:  Netherlands 
Sector of operation:  Oil trade 

- Kvaerner Masa-Yards, FIM 2.1 billion (USD 0.4 billion)  
Country of origin:  Norway 
Sector of operation:  Shipbuilding 

- Urals Finland, FIM 1.8 billion (USD 0.3 billion)  
Country of origin:  Russia 
Sector of operation:  Wholesale   

There are over a hundred U.S. subsidiaries in Finland. Esso and IBM were 
the largest U.S. companies in terms of turnover in 1994 (Esso: FIM 1.4 
billion, or $0.2 billion, and IBM: FIM 1.2 billion, or $0.2 billion).    


The Finnish Banking System

In the last few years, the Finnish banking system has undergone a rapid 
change.  The initial impetus for this process was the step-by-step 
deregulation of financial markets and capital movements in the 1980s as 
part of the overall financial integration in Europe.  Then, the 
recession in the early 1990s and financial crisis, aggravated by bad 
lending practices in the boom years of the late 1980s, started the 
process of dismantling the excess banking capacity.  Tighter competition 
ensued from Finland's entry into the European Union, accelerating cost 
cutting in the sector.  Financial consolidation has been accomplished by 
reducing personnel, closing branch offices and introducing modern 
banking technology.  

Public support has been provided for some problem banks, in particular 
SKOP Bank and the savings bank group, to maintain stability in Finland's 
banking system.  A rough calculation indicates that public support, in 
the form of loans, guarantees, share investments and other equity-rated 
investments released through the Bank of Finland and the Government 
Guarantee Fund, will amount to FIM 40 to 50 billion ($10 billion), not 
including interest, before the last payment is effected in 1995 or 1996.  
The amount of money equals one-fourth of 1994 government budget 
expenditures.  An asset management bank, Arsenal, has been established 
to liquidate nonperforming assets of the problem banks.  

The Finnish banking system is dominated by three banking groups:  Merita 
Bank, the result of the recent merger of Kansallis-Osake-Pankki (KOP 
Bank) and the Union Bank of Finland (Unitas Group), as well as Okobank 
(the Cooperative Bank Group) and Postipankki.  In all, there are 
fourteen commercial banks in Finland.  Four are foreign-owned and one is 
a branch of Citibank.  The commercial banks are limited companies.  

The major Finnish commercial banks service the whole country through 
their branch networks.  They also manage individual subsidiaries that 
engage in mortgage banking, finance company activities, credit card 
business, investment operations etc.  Commercial banks have extensive 
foreign networks of branch offices, subsidiaries, consortium banks and 
representative offices through which foreign trade payments are 
effected.  The largest local banks are cooperative banks and savings 
banks whose nationwide and international operations are run by their 
individual umbrella banks.  

Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trading

All Finnish foreign exchange controls have been abolished.

General Financing Availability

The Finnish financial market is a typically European environment where 
banks and financing institutions have the dominant role, although 
insurance institutions play a major role in credit supply.  Insurance 
companies, through their management of  compulsory insurance schemes of 
the public social security system, lend a substantial part of the money 
back to the companies that pay the compulsory premiums.  Financing is 
also available through stock exchange and the government's financing 
systems.  There are only a few risk venture agencies in Finland. 

How to Finance Exports/Methods of Payment

Financing and guarantees for exports are provided for by the government-
owned Finnish Export Credit Agency and the Finnish Guarantee Board.  
Depending on the nature of the goods exported and on the risks connected 
to trading partners, a portion of the export costs must be provided by 
the company in question.  Finland prefers that, in subsidized export 
financing, (where Finland adheres to OECD principles), international 
arrangements be made with a minimum of government involvement.  In 
addition to government activities, commercial banks provide financing, 
with guarantees when possible, for exports.  The banks advise their 
customers on bank loans as well as on loans granted by other credit 

Types of Available Export Financing and Insurance

Major Finnish government and other programs are detailed below.

Finnish Export Credit Agency:  Finland's leading export financing 
institution, it provides financing to Finnish exporters of capital 
goods, mostly on market terms.  It is 100 percent owned by the Finnish 

Finnish Guarantee Board:  Its main function is to provide small and 
medium-sized enterprises (SME's) with export credit guarantees.  The 
guarantees cover commercial and political risk.  Specific export 
financing packages can be formed by a combination of support from the 
Finnish Export Credit Agency and the Finnish Guarantee Board.  

Finnfund - The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation:  Similar to the 
U.S. Government sponsored OPIC, Finnfund promotes investments in 
developing countries.  It has recently become very active in the former 
Soviet Union, particularly Russia and the Baltic countries.  The 
investment must have a Finnish component, but third country partners can 
participate as well.  Finnfund provides equity capital as well as loans 
and also participates in guarantee arrangements.

NIB - Nordic Investment Bank:  NIB is jointly owned by the five Nordic 
countries.  Its head office is located in Helsinki.  NIB extend loans 
and provide guarantees on normal banking terms for export and investment 
projects that are in line with Nordic interest.  It also grants long-
term collateralized loans.   

Kera - The Regional Development Fund:  Kera provides financing to 
promote the development of SME's in "development areas" of Finland.  
Three-fourths of the financing is for manufacturing, the remainder for 
tourism and other services.

SITRA, The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development, and 
TEKES, The Technology Development Center:  SITRA and TEKES are public 
financing institutions with the purpose of strengthening the role of 
research in economic life and promoting new products with the aim of 
introducing internationally competitive high-technology products and 
production methods.   
Ministry of Trade and Industry:  The ministry provides funds for the 
"internationalization" of firms, primarily SME's.  The funding can be 
used for a wide range of services to increase a firm's ability to 

Project Financing Available

Multilateral lending institutions do not make loans for projects in 
Finland.  The Finnish Export Credit Agency and Finnfund provide 
financing for overseas projects.  Participation of third country firms 
in projects is possible.  Nordic Investment Bank grants investment loans 
for Nordic projects and also finances third countries.   

Banks with Correspondent U.S. Banking Arrangements

All principal Finnish banks have an extensive correspondent 
relationships with U.S. banks, maintaining relationships with banks in 
every state as well as with all of the larger financial center banks.  
Further information on correspondent relationships can be obtained from 
the Finnish Bankers' Association, P.O. Box 1009, 00101 Helsinki; tel: 
358-0-4056 120, fax: 358-0-40561-291.


Business Customs

Finland is a modern, post industrial country having close relations with 
other Nordic countries. Social and business protocol is similar to that 
in the United States and requires no special mentions of taboos.  It is 
worth knowing that relationships are important within the society and 
business as Finns prefer to deal with people they know and trust.

Travel Advisory and Visas

With the exception of Nordic (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland) 
citizens, foreigners entering Finland must have a valid passport.  A 
tourist or business visa is not required for stays of up to three 
months. Note: the 90-day period begins when entering any of the Nordic 
countries. Also, during any 6-month period, the maximum total time a 
foreigner can stay in the Nordic area is this 90 days.  If a foreigner 
uses less than 90 days, he may return to the Nordic area for only the 
balance of the 90-day period unless he has been out of the Nordic area 
for more than 6 months.  For non-EU citizens a visa is needed for stays 
exceeding 90 days. 

To work in Finland, a foreigner also needs a work permit.  These 
documents must be obtained from a Finnish consulate in the applicants 
home country before arriving in Finland.  Nationals of other Nordic 
countries do not need residence or work permits.  EU citizens outside 
the Nordic countries need to apply for ETA-card from local police for 
stays exceeding 90 days.  ETA-card is a combined work and residence 


The national holidays in Finland for 1996 are:

New Year's Day    January 1
Epiphany      January 6
Good Friday      April 5
Easter      April 7
Easter Monday    April 8
May Day      May 1
Ascension Day    May 16
Mid-Summer      June 22
Independence Day    December 6
Christmas       December 25-26

Business Infrastructure


Finland has an effective transportation network of trains, roads and air 
links. Public transportation is abundant and efficient, especially in 
major cities. There are more than 20 domestic airports in Finland, so 
inland destinations are easily reached. Frequent flights are scheduled 
from Helsinki to all major cities abroad.


Finland is in the forefront of development and usage of 
telecommunications. Telephone calls can be made from Finland to almost 
200 countries, and Finland has one of the most extensive mobile phone 
networks in the world. 


There are two official languages in Finland, Finnish and Swedish. About 
94 percent of the population of 5 million is Finnish speaking and 6 
percent Swedish speaking. Both languages are compulsory at school. 
English is widely spoken in Finland, especially among younger people and 
in major cities. 


Children attend comprehensive schools for nine years, beginning at the 
age of seven. Municipalities pay for teachers' salaries, books, health 
care, and school meals. After completing comprehensive school, students 
may attend high school for three years or receive an occupational 
education. High school prepares students for university studies. 
Tuitions at universities are minimal. University students can finance 
their living expenses with scholarships or guaranteed student loans from 

Helsinki has international, English, German, Russian, French and Jewish 
schools in which classes are taught partly in foreign languages and 
partly in Finnish. The International, English, German and Jewish schools 
are private and charge tuition.  University level education is mainly in 
Finnish, with the exception of English language B.B.A and M.B.A programs 
in certain universities.

Medical Services

Medical facilities are widely available. The public hospital system will 
not honor foreign credit cards and/or U.S. insurance coverage. However, 
private hospitals and clinics which accept major credit cards are widely 
available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United 
States. Travelers have found that in some cases, a letter from their 
carrier describing supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas 
coverage has proved useful. 

A foreigner is usually covered by the Finnish social security after 
moving to Finland. Most health care is provided as a public service. 
Inhabitants of each municipality use the services offered by the health 
center for the area in which they reside permanently. The quality of 
public health care is equivalent to care given by private doctors. 

Occupational health care is organized by employers at no expense to 
employees. It is based on a special law intended to protect health of 
employees from being harmed by the nature of their work.


Most people in Finland own their own housing. Over 20 percent of the 
population lives in rental housing. The cost to rent an apartment varies 
depending on the size, age, condition and location. Rents are quite high 
and prices for apartments and houses are also high. Apartments are 
usually rented unfurnished.



1. Profile:

- Population: 5,098,800
- Population growth rate (percent): 0.5
- Religion(s): Lutheran 86.2, Orthodox 1.0, no denomination 11.7, other 
- Government system: Republic
- Language(s): Finnish, Swedish 
- Work week: 38.2 (employed full time); 18.7 (part time employees).


Domestic Economy (USD millions, except as noted):

              1994  1995  1996
- GDP             98,045  123,560  132,400
- GDP growth rate 1996
  (percent) 4.5 %  
- GDP per capital        19,266  24,180  25,800
- Government spending as
  percent of GDP           60.2    58.5    56.5
- Inflation (percent)          1.1     1.5     2.5  
- Unemployment (percent)       18.4    17.0    15.0
- Foreign exchange reserves     10,108  11,780  11,500
- Average exchange rate for $1.00  5.218  4.500  4.500
- Foreign debt (net)      49,216  52,200  50,700
- Debt service ratio (ratio of 
  interest payments on foreign 
  debt to foreign income, 
  principal excluded)          11.9     9.5       8.4
- U.S. economic/military
  assistance (if applicable)        N/A

Note: Exchange rates used:

- 1994 - 1US$ = FIM 5.218  
- 1995 - 1US$ = FIM 4.5 (estimate)
- 1996 - 1US$ = FIM 4.5 (estimate)

Sources: Statistics Finland, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of 

USD millions          1994   1995(e)  1996(e)

Total country exports      29,484  36,759  38,413
Total country imports      23,034  29,649  32,762  

U.S. exports           2,114   2,635   2,754
U.S. imports           1,757   2,445   2,812   
U.S. share of host-country       7.6     8.2     8.5    imports 

Imports of manufactured goods
- Total (from world)      17,255  22,211  24,543
- From the U.S.         1,500   2,087   2,400
- U.S. share of manufactured
  imports             8.7     9.3     9.8
- Manufactured goods trade balance
  with U.S.            +467    +363    +160
- Projected average annual growth
  rate from world through 1996      10.5
- Projected average annual growth
  rate from U.S. through 1996
  (percent)            17.5

Imports of agricultural goods     
- Total (from world)       1,229   1,664   1,900
- From the U.S.            98     130     160    
- U.S. share of agricultural imports     
  (percent)             8.0     8.0     8.0
- Agricultural goods trade balance
  with U.S.             +17     +41     +50

- Trade balance with three leading partners in 1994 (USD millions):

Germany: +565.9;  Sweden: +825.2;    United Kingdom: +1,134;

* Please note the following fluctuations in the average U.S. dollar 
exchange rates:

- 1994 - 1US$ = FIM 5.218
- 1995 - 1US$ = FIM 4.5 (estimate)
- 1996 - 1US$ = FIM 4.5 (estimate)

- Principal U.S. exports (1994):

84.71    - Automatic data processing machines and units thereof 
          (includes computers, peripherals and software)
85.00    - Electric machinery and equipment and parts thereof
90.00    - Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring,
           checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and 
29.00    - Organic chemicals
88.02-03 - Aircraft and parts 

- Principal U.S. imports (1994):

48.00    - Paper and paperboard
72.08    - Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
84.39    - Paper industry machinery
85.00    - Electrical machinery
89.00    - Ships and boats

Sources: Board of Customs, Bureau of Statistics, Confederation of 
Finnish Industry and Employers (TT), Ministry of Finance.



(1) Preliminary information
(2) Estimate

Region of Direct Investor    1992  1993 (1)
-------------------------    ----  --------
EFTA             9.759  12.101
EU               5.847   8.025
North America           2.597   3.290
- United States         (2.546)  (3.137)
Other             0.103   0.065 
              ------  ------
- Total                   19.348      24.391


Sector            1992  1993 (1)
------            ----  --------

Manufacturing          10.125  13.499
-   Metal & Engineering    (6.011)  (7.913)
-  Chemical          (1.491)  (1.799)
  Other          (2.623)  (3.787)

Services            9.140  10.780
-  Trade          (6.419)  (6.807)
-  Finance and Insurance          (0.793)  (0.809)
  Other          (1.928)  (3.164)

Other              0.083   0.112
               ------  ------
- Total            19.348  24.391


Region            1992  1993 (1)
------            ----  --------

EFTA            12.054  16.614
EU              16.411  20.388
Other Europe            0.507   0.229
North America           9.973  11.693
- United States         (8.453)  (10.895)
- Canada            (1.520)  (0.798)
Other countries         2.716   2.720
Not classified         3.260   2.933
              ------  ------
- Total            44.921  54.557


Sector            1992  1993 (1)
------            ----  --------

Manufacturing          36.096  44.614
-  Forest          (2.986)  (4.603)
-  Metal & Engineering    (17.081)  (17.940)
-  Chemical          (9.644)  (10.804)
  Other          (6.385)  (11.267)

Services             5.323   7.163 
-  Trade          -3.730  -3.754
-  Finance and Insurance     7.962   8.549
  Other           1.091   2.368

Other              0.242  -0.133
Households' Investments in Real
Estate and Dwellings       3.260   2.933
              ------  ------
- Total            44.921  54.577


Country            1992  1993(1)  1994(1)
-------            ----  -------  -------
Austria               9      0     8
Norway             162   155  1352
Sweden             387  1528  1550
Switzerland           205    42  -602
- Total EFTA           763  1725  2308

Belgium              39   -12   424
Denmark              52   141  2530
France              42   267    11
Germany             197   445    80
Ireland               9    51    36
Italy              14    -4     0
Luxembourg           -15    66   122
Netherlands           533   183  -169
United Kingdom          17   936   417
Others               0     0    -7
- Total EU           888  2073  3444

Other Europe            23  -148   346

United States           771  1080   615
Canada              67    68   -28
- Total N. America         838  1148   587

Other Countries        69     6    25

Not classified            1    10    93
               ----  ----  ----
- Total            2582  4814  6803

Reinvested Earnings      -760   131   900 (2)
              ----  ----  ----
- Grand Total          1822  4945  7703


Sector            1992  1993(1)  1994(1)
------            ----  -------  -------

Manufacturing          1800  2520  5175
-  Metals           (1229)   (1120)   (723)
-  Chemicals         (227)   (337)   (2493)
  Other           (344)   (1063)   (1959)

Services            740  2223   984 
-  Trade           (383)   (877)   (665)
-  Finance & Insurance     (251)    (70)    (12)
  Other           (106)   (1276)   (307)

Other sectors            42     71   167
              ----  ----  ----
- Total            2582  4814  6803

Not classified          ..    ..   278 

Reinvested Earnings      -760   131   900 (2)
              ----  ----  ----
- Grand Total          1822  4945  7703


Country            1992  1993(1)  1994(1)
-------            ----  -------  -------

Austria               0    20   523
Norway            -272  244   128
Sweden             965  3765  1002
Switzerland           612  -290  -630
- Total EFTA          1305  3739  1023

Belgium            1059  1889   837
Denmark            -128    47  4769
France            1046   812   531
Germany             581  3294   257
Greece               2    -1     1
Ireland              55    97    66
Italy             315   330    85
Luxembourg           126   -57   -87
Netherlands          -5175  - 325  6983
Portugal             117  1068  -161
Spain             652   824   425
United Kingdom         893  1518  3345
- Total EU          -457  9496  17051

Other Europe            173   299   458

Canada             -58  -672   256
United States           452  1382  2538
- Total N. America         394   710  2794

Other countries         776   232   292

Not classified         187   -11  -431
              ----  -----  -----
- Total            2378  14465  21187

Reinvested Earnings      -5750  -4928  -1500 (2)
                -----  -----  -----
- Grand Total          -3372  9537  19687


Sector            1992  1993 (1)  1994 (1)
-----            ----  --------  --------  

Manufacturing          1659  12486  16715
-  Forest           (-180)   (1859)   (2058)
-  Metal           (1438)   (4839)   (7706)
-  Chemical           (-694)   (2119)   (4977)
  Other           (1095)   (3669)   (1974)

Services            117   1798  4712
-  Trade           (-808)   (163)   (4224)
-  Finance & Insurance     (771)   (597)   (-320)
  Other           (154)   (1038)    (808)

Other Sectors            419   165   176

Households' Investment in 
Real Estate and Dwellings     183    16    97

Not classified         ..    ..  -513
              ----  -----  -----
- Total            2378  14465  21187

Reinvested Earnings       -5750  -4928  -1500 (2)
                -----  -----  -----
- Grand Total          -3372  9537  19687



Commercial Service of the United States
It. Puistotie 14 B
FIN-00140 Helsinki
PSC 78, Box H
APO AE 09723
Helsinki, Finland
Tel: 358-0-171 931
Fax: 358-0-635 332

Ms. Barbara Slawecki, SCO (Stockholm)
Mr. Harri Mäkinen, Senior Commercial Specialist
Ms. Tarja Kunnas, Commercial Specialist
Mr. Juha Ottman, Commercial Specialist
Ms. Heidi Day, Commercial Assistant

Economic Section
It. Puistotie 14 B
FIN-00140 Helsinki
PSC 78, Box H
APO AE 09723
Helsinki, Finland
Tel: 358-0-171 931
Fax: 358-0-174 681

Mr. Michael Delaney, Economic Counselor
Ms. Catherine Hill-Herndon, Economic Officer
Mr. William Pennington, Economic Officer

Foreign Agricultural Service
Strandvägen 101
115 89 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: 46-8-783 5389
Fax: 46-8-662 8495

Mr. Thomas Hamby, Agricultural Counselor
Ms. Gunilla Törnqvist, Agricultural Specialist
Ms. Inger Gozalbez, Agricultural Assistant
Ms. Bettina Dahlbacka, Secretary


Mr. Matti Aura
Managing Director
Central Chamber of Commerce
WTC Helsinki,Aleksanterinkatu 17
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-696 969
Fax: 358-0-650 303

Mr. Lauri Railas
Secretary General
Finnish Section of the International Chamber of Commerce
WTC Helsinki, Aleksanterinkatu 17
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-696 969
Fax: 358-0-650 303

Mr. Heikki Heliö
Managing Director
Helsinki Chamber of Commerce
Kalevankatu 12
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-228 601
Fax: 358-0-604 228

Chairman (to be elected)
Finnish-American Chamber of Commerce
Arkadiankatu 2
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-695 91
Fax: 358-0-694 0028

Ms. Sirpa Rissa-Anttilainen
Managing Director
World Trade Center Helsinki
Aleksanterinkatu 17
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-634 028
Fax: 358-0-627 815


Mr. Guy Wires
Managing Director
Federation of Finnish Commerce and Trade
Mannerheimintie 76 A
FIN-00250 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-441 651
Fax: 358-0-496 142

- Central Organization for 25 Trade Associations

Mr. Peter Nyman
Finnish Foreign Trade Agents' Federation
Museokatu 9 B 21
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-446 768
Fax: 358-0-408 807

- Organization for Finnish commission agents

Ms. Taru Eborem
Association of Finnish Advertisers
Meritullinkatu 3 D
FIN-00170 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-662 622
Fax: 358-0-665 030

Ms. Leena Karhunen
Finnish Direct Marketing Association 
Vuorikatu 4 A 6
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-663 744
Fax: 358-0-663 772

Mr. Johannes Koroma
Director General
Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers
Eteläranta 10
FIN-00130 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-686 81
Fax: 358-0-6868 2316

- Has 29 Finnish industry branch organizations representing about 7,000 
member companies.

Mr. Harri Malmberg
Director General
Federation of Finnish Metal, Engineering and
Electrotechnical Industries (FIMET)
Eteläranta 10
FIN-00130 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-192 31
Fax: 358-0-124 997

Mr. Jarl Köhler
Managing Director
Finnish Forest Industries' Federation
Eteläesplanadi 2
FIN-00130 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-132 61
Fax: 358-0-174 479

Mr. Pertti Huitu
Managing Director
Finnish Foreign Trade Association
Arkadiankatu 2
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-695 91
Fax: 358-0-694 0028

Mr. Nils-Christian Berg 
Chief Executive
Invest in Finland Bureau
Aleksanterinkatu 17
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-6969 125
Fax: 358-0-6969 2530


Dr. Saara Reinius
Veterinary Department
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Vuorikatu 16 A
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-160 3385
Fax: 358-0-160 3338

Dr. Osmo Mäki-Petäys
Head of Meat Hygiene Unit
National Veterinary and Food Research Institute
P.O. Box 368
FIN-00231 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-393 1899
Fax: 358-0-393 1960

Mr. Kai Alvesalo
Senior Customs Inspector
The Board of Customs
Ratakatu 1b A
FIN-00120 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-1641
Fax: 358-0-614 2256

Mr. Timo Relander
Director General
Statistics Finland
Työpajankatu 13
FIN-00580 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-173 41
Fax: 358-0-1734 2442 

Mr. Heikki Partanen
Chief Inspector
Bureau of Data Protection Ombudsman
Kauppakartanonkatu 7 A 41
FIN-00930 Helsinki (will be changed Sep 15)
Tel: 358-0-3432 455
Fax: 358-0-3431 247

Mr. Jyrki Alanko
Manager, Information Services
Finnish Standardization Association (SFS)
Maistraatinportti 2
FIN-00240 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-149 9331
Fax: 358-0-146 4925

Mr. Tuomo Ilomäki
Managing Director
Finnish Electrotechnical Standard Association (SESKO)
P.O. Box 134
FIN-00211 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-69 631
Fax: 358-0-677 059

Mr. Matti Enäjärvi
Director General
National Board of Patents and Registration
Albertinkatu 25 A
FIN-00180 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-6939 500
Fax: 358-0-6939 5322

Ms. Eeva Kelloniemi
Engineer - Product Safety 
National Consumer Administration 
P.O. Box 5
FIN-00531 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-77 261
Fax: 358-0-7726 7557

Mr. Eero Aho
Senior Advisor
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Export Control Unit
Lastenkodinkatu 5
FIN-00180 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-160 5850
Fax: 358-0-160 5866


Mr. Ari Heino
Managing Director 
Research International
Itälahdenkatu 18 A
FIN-00210 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-348 6112
Fax: 358-0-348 61312

- Associate Member of Research International Group Ltd.

Mr. Risto Seppälä
Managing Director
A.C. Nielsen Finland Oy
Tietäjäntie 14
FIN-02130 Espoo
Tel: 358-0-455 4422
Fax: 358-0-463 628

- Specialized in retail trade.


Mr. Vesa Vainio
Merita Pankki Oy (Merita Bank Ltd.)
FIN-00020 Merita
Tel: 358-0-1651
Fax: 358-0-661 051

Mr. Pauli Komi
Osuuspankkien Keskuspankki (Okobank)
Arkadiankatu 23
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-4041
Fax: 358-0-404 2219

Mr. Seppo Lindblom
Postipankki (Postal Bank)
Unioninkatu 22
FIN-00007 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-1641
Fax: 358-0-164 2608

Mr. Stephen McClintock
Managing Director
Citibank International Plc.
Finland Branch
Aleksanterinkatu 48 A
FIN-00100 Helsinki
Tel: 358-0-173 381
Fax: 358-0-651 194


Mr. James Devlin
Finland Desk Officer
U.S. Department of Commerce
OWE/NED, Room 3043
Washington, D.C. 20230
Tel: (202) 482-4414 
Fax: (202) 482-2897

Mr. Gordon Nicks
Northern European Area Officer
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
Washington D.C. 20250
Tel: (202) 720-2144
Fax: (202) 690-2909


List of Industry Sector Analysis (ISA) reports and
Special Topic (STR) reports in FY '96:


- Environmental Technologies (a joint effort with Sweden) 
- Retailing in Finland 

- Airport Construction 
- Controls and Instrumentation for the Power Sector 
- Computer Software  
- Air Pollution Control Equipment 
- Electronic Components 
- Travel and Tourism to the United States 

USDA/FAS/Commodity reports and market briefs

Date of Next Report    Subject             Report Code

11/30/95               Dairy Annual            FI9551A  
04/10/96               Sugar Annual            FI9619A
06/01/96               Grain & Feed Annual     FI9611A
06/01/96               Tobacco Annual          FI9621A
07/15/96               Forest Products Annual  FI9655A
09/30/96               Agricultural Situation  FI9624A

The above reports are available on the Department of Commerce's National 
Trade Data Bank.  These and additional reports are available from the 
Reports Officer, FAS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 6078 South 
Building, Washington, D.C. 20250-1000.  Fax: (202) 720-7729.

Exporters/marketers interested in access to other marketing related 
information and reports may also wish to contact AgExport Connections 
Tel: (202) 720-7103 Fax: 690-4374.  


List of major exhibitions in Finland in 1996:

Helsinki Fair Center, The Finnish Fair Corporation
January 7-11, 1996

- Exhibition of Medicine, Nursing and Health Care

Helsinki Fair Center
January 18-21, 1996

- Finland's International Travel Fair.
- The Commercial Section in Helsinki organizes a USA Pavilion in 
connection with Matka'96.

Helsinki Fair Center
January 28-30, 1996

Helsinki Fair Center
February 9-18, 1996

Helsinki Fair Center
March 22-24, 1996

Helsinki Fair Center
March 27-29, 1996

- Catering, restaurants and hotels

Helsinki Fair Center
April 1-3, 1996

- Sales Exhibition for Clothing and Home Textiles and Accessories

Finnbuild '96
Helsinki Fair Center
April 17-21, 1996

- Helsinki International Building Fair

May 8-11, 1996 

-  Fire Control, labor protection, civil defense and property  

TIWC '96
Tampere Hall
May 21-24, 1996

- 77th Textile Institute World Conference

10th Nordic-Baltic Conference on Biomedical Engineering
Tampere Hall and Tampere University of Technology
June 9-13, 1996

First Science Center World Congress
Heureka, Vantaa
June 14-18, 1996

Kt-DATA '96
Helsinki Fair Center
September 9-13, 1996

- Computers, peripherals and office equipment.

FinnTec '96
Helsinki Fair Center
October 1-4, 1996

- Helsinki International Technical Fair, Machine Tools and Tools

Tampere Trade Fairs Ltd
October 8-9, 1996

- Environmental technology

FinnSec '96
Helsinki Fair Center
October 23-26, 1996

- Helsinki International Security Fair

Helsinki Fair Center
November 1-3, 1996
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