In 2020, the U.S. was the only country in Finland’s top seven export markets to which exports increased. The U.S. is now Finland’s second-largest trading partner, almost on par with Sweden, and is also the second-largest source of foreign direct investment to Finland.
When I first read these data points – brought to you through our Finland Supplement to the Transatlantic Economy Report – my first reaction was pride. This growth tell us that even during a politically turbulent year, where all countries navigated a global pandemic, the economic relationship between the U.S. and Finland remained firm.
In my role leading Amcham Finland, a significant part of my job is working with policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing information with our members, and creating opportunities for people to make the connections they need. This includes talking to decision-makers about the opportunities that the transatlantic relationship offers. Our team of eight works hard to save our members time, money and reduce their risk when entering and growing in the U.S. market, and to help multinationals in Finland share best practices and grow their business successfully.
This spring, we wanted to definitively highlight the importance of the economic relationship between the U.S. and Finland, so we published the first ever Finland Supplement to the Transatlantic Economy Report 2021. To support and promote the transatlantic relationship, Amcham Finland has annually co-sponsored the Transatlantic Economy Report, compiled by AmCham EU and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, providing readers with the most up-to-date picture on the economic relationship between the U.S. and Europe. Publishing the inaugural Finland supplement is an important step in bringing confidence and valuable insights to our growing transatlantic community.
The report is packed with statistics and insights on trade, investment, digitization, med-tech and more. Along with discussing U.S. investments to Finland, the supplement also looks at the increasing role of services exports. While exports of goods from Finland to the U.S. increased by just 1% in 2020, exports of services increased by 34% year-on-year. This says a lot about where the opportunities lie going forward. The U.S. and Finland are in the midst of growing a modern and high-tech trading relationship based on knowledge-transfer and data flows. The life-sciences sector is emerging as incredibly important for both countries, as are opportunities in clean-tech, renewable energy and sustainable consumption.
I strongly urge you to download the report to understand more about the massive opportunity in front of us. Together, Finland and the United States can build an even brighter future. When our companies, universities and organizations work together, we are more innovative and create more value for society than we would apart.
The U.S. economy is set to grow 6,4% this year (source: IMF). With President Biden’s vaccine roll-out proceeding apace and by allowing the economy to heal, there is more opportunity than ever for Finnish-U.S. business to thrive. Simply put, there has never been a better time to plan and to grow your Finnish business in the United States. The time to act on transatlantic business is now.
Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson, CEO at Amcham Finland, is working to make Finland a more open and international place to do business and to help Finnish companies navigate the US market. She has taught on the importance of networking as well as held non-profit board positions, both in Finland and the US. Alexandra holds an MBA from Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences and a BA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
Edited/updated 7.5.2021: IMF's newest estimate of the U.S. economy growth rate this year, from 5,1% to 6,4%.