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Previous govt's bioeconomy push fell short in several areas, says audit office

PM Juha Sipilä's key bioeconomy projects created few new jobs and did not help the farming sector, auditors concluded.

Keskustan väistyvä puheenjohtaja Juha Sipilä piti jäähyväispuheen keskustan ylimääräisessä puoluekokouksessa Kouvolassa lauantaina 7. syyskuuta.
Juha Sipilä stepped down as Centre Party chair on 7 September. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

The National Audit Office of Finland has determined that only half of the objectives listed in Finland's previous government's push to boost the bioeconomy were achieved. During its 2015-19 term, former Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's government set up five key projects and allocated a total of 323 million euros to boost the bioeconomy and cleantech in Finland.

"The energy and climate objectives were achieved, and the deregulation objective was a definitely a success. But only a few jobs were created within the bioeconomy and cleantech, and the balance of trade for foodstuffs did not improve," Auri Pakarinen, a principal auditor at the office, said in a bulletin.

One of the main objectives of Sipilä's government upon gaining office was making Finland a "pioneer in the bioeconomy", in other words, promoting the use of renewable, bio-based natural resources, environmentally friendly clean technologies and efficient recycling of materials.

The audit also assessed the functioning of the government’s new strategy model and key project system. While it said that the overall project was appropriately and efficiently organised, it says future government projects should pay special attention to providing guidelines to the ministerial working groups, in order to ensure that their work is smooth and systematic.

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