Press release 259/2012
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
With a view to internationalisation plans, Russia remains
the most attractive market for Finnish companies and export
promotion visits made to various regions of Russia interest
them. At the same time, considering the barriers to trade
and investments, Russia is also the country viewed as the
most problematic. The EU markets call for attention as
well. These issues emerged in the survey on
internationalisation plans and trade barriers directed to
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander
Stubb is satisfied with the active feedback received from
"A growing number of small and medium-sized companies want
to internationalise their operations. This is a very
welcome message and I encourage companies to take advantage
of the export promotion visits and other
internationalisation services available. These visits are
made to the markets the companies are interested in and in
which assistance provided by me or some other ministers is
needed due to, for example, trade barriers."
The survey on internationalisation and trade barriers,
organised under Team Finland cooperation, produced 600
responses from Finnish companies. The companies reported a
total of 650 wishes for export promotion destinations and
some 1,200 barriers to trade and investments. Major part of
the barriers (approx. 30%) concerned problems encountered
in Russia. In spite of the problems, Russia is considered
an interesting market, since it also emerged as the most
popular destination for export promotion visits.
"It is clear that the recent accession of Russia to the WTO
and the possibilities offered by the Russian markets make
it an attractive market area for a growing number of
Finnish companies," says Minister Stubb.
In addition to Russia, companies show special interest
towards, for example, the Chinese, U.S. and Indian markets,
on which Finnish companies also encounter trade barriers
making operations difficult more often than average. For
SMEs the European internal market offers a natural first
step towards internationalisation and they consider access
to public export promotion services important also within
the EU market. EU countries are not totally unproblematic
either, and companies reported several trade barriers
encountered in them.
The survey was carried out at the initiative of the Team
Finland network and the parties responsible for the
practical implementation included the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, the Ministry for Employment and the Economy,
Finpro, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, the
Central Chamber of Commerce, the International Chamber of
Commerce ICC, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises and the
Federation of Finnish Commerce.
Objectives regarding internationalisation and information
on barriers to trade can be reported to the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs or other stakeholders of the Team Finland
network even in the future.
Contact information: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ilkka
Saarinen, Head of Unit for Market Access, tel. +358 9 160
56327, and Heli Siikaluoma, Commercial Counsellor, tel.
+358 9 160 56528; E-mail: tradebarrier(at)formin.fi.