Work-related immigration has not been successful in Finland due to the rigid and discriminatory nature of the national work permit system, according to the report. This is paradoxical as the country needs to attract a great number of foreign workers and international experts within the next few years to counter the effects of the aging workforce.
Bureaucracy also poses an obstacle. In big cities committee considerations and comment rounds on proposals can take an inordinate amount of time from an investor's point of view, the report says.
“For example, environmental assessments for industrial projects take an unreasonably long time—a fast track should be created for those,” explains Jorma Eloranta, who compiled the report for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The report suggests several measures to increase Finland’s attractiveness to investors. Among them are tax incentives for research and development projects and changes to the energy tax. Eloranta also calls for better use of Finland’s forests.
Eloranta has previously served at the helm of numerous Finnish companies. He was the CEO of the Finnish engineering company Metso from 2004 to 2011 and now serves as Senior Advisor at the business management consultancy Eera.