One of the largest countries in Europe, Finland continuously tops international rankings in education, research and development investment, competitiveness and transparency. The Ease of Doing Business chart parallels show Finland, along with its Scandinavian neighbours, as one of the best countries for foreign business ventures. Politically, the country is a stable parliamentary republic and has been a member of the European Union since 1995; it adopted the euro as its currency in 2002. Citizens enjoy a multitude of individual and political freedoms, with Finnish women among the first in the world allowed to vote.
Geographically, doing business in Finland offers trade links with Russia, Europe and the Baltic States, with access to the growing economies of Northern Europe rendering Finland a favourite among global organisations. A highly modernised and predominantly free market, its industrial economy boasts a thriving private sector and business environment attracting foreign investment.
Indeed, international trade remains key, with exports accounting for over one third of Finland’s GDP – notably in wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronic industries. Forests cover three quarters of the country’s surface area, making quality wood the most important export. This also provides a secondary occupation in the rural areas but is balanced by Finland’s reputation as an innovative hub for technological advancements.
Business culture for the Finns is free of flamboyance and ostentation, so avoid over-dressing or showing extravagance. Finland has long been a culturally homogenous nation, little impacted by outside influences. Therefore, investing time in familiarising oneself with the established business etiquette is essential.
While Finland certainly remains a reliable springboard into successful business, the World Business Culture website will relay the necessary information for navigating the tax and regulatory environment. It will also help to understand the cultural environment to ensure rewarding business in Finland.