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Thursday’s papers: Lobbying for foreign labour, Finnish firm heads to US and spiderweb plastic

Efforts to attract foreign labour, a Finnish manufacturer sets up stateside and researchers develop new plastic material.

Kuljetuspalveluyrityksen yli 60-vuotias työntekijä
Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle

"Finland should attract more highly skilled, high-paid workers," writes business magazine Talouselämä, reporting on views put forward by the Finland Chamber of Commerce (FCC).

The business lobby has called for officials to slash the four-month waiting period for foreign workers to enter the country to one month. The FCC also said it wanted Finland to abandon the practice of prioritising job applicants who are citizens of an EU member state or a country that is a part of the European Economic Area.

Furthermore, the FCC wants to downgrade the government’s 5,800-euro monthly salary requirement for people entering on ‘top performer’ visas to 4,000 euros to help Finnish companies fill positions.

In addition, the FCC called for all foreign degree students in Finland to automatically gain permanent residency status after graduation.

Made in USA

While Finnish manufacturer Nokian Tyres is engaged in layoff talks in Finland, the company is set to open a large plant in Dayton, Tennessee, located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The plant will employ 400 people and produce four million tyres annually, making it one of the most significant Finnish investments in the American market in recent times, according to HS.

The Finnish company negotiated significant tax breaks with the small rural town whose economy has been struggling.

CEO Hille Korhonen said Nokian Tyres could have expanded production in Russia, which has so far supplied tyres for the US market. The firm, however, opted to “minimise risk with greater geographical distribution.”

Scientists spin faux plastic

A group of Finnish researchers have developed a material to rival plastic that combines wood fibres and spider silk, writes Swedish-language daily Hufvusdtadsbladet.

Aalto University and VTT researchers said the material was both strong and flexible as well as biodegradable, meaning it won’t cause the same damage to nature as microplastics.

The spiderweb silk used was, however, not actually taken from spiderwebs. Scientists used bacteria and synthetic DNA to produce it.

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