Riikka Heikinheimo: Space for forerunners

Guest blog

No one can have failed to notice that Finland needs economic growth. Without growth and jobs, we will be unable to maintain the key elements of our wellbeing society. In the global business environment, we cannot compete on the basis of cheap labour or low-cost raw materials.

Expertise has long been Finland's trump card in keeping up with the competition. This means that an increasing proportion of future economic growth and the resulting jobs will be created from new and reinvented, expertise-based business activities.

In addition, we need a favourable business environment both in Finland and neighbouring countries. Although we cannot affect everything that happens in the wider world, we can prepare for many eventualities; wise foresight and the resulting investments in expertise would be an example of this. On the other hand, many issues affecting the Finnish business environment can be solved by reaching an enlightened consensus. If we are willing, that is.

The business community and society can join forces in a number of ways to support growth via education, expertise and research. Well-targeted public money leads to the proactive creation of new developments, while spurring the renewal of what already exists. In this discussion, we – the Confederation of Finnish Industries – are eagerly involved in passing on the message of the business-sector.

In a changing world, innovation is a great way for companies of all sizes and in all sectors to build our future competitiveness. Analyses revealing the positive effects of innovation serve as a timely reminder of this. The impact of Tekes' activities can be seen on many a desk and bedside table.

One of the recent tasks of the Confederation of Finnish Industries has involved reminding key opinion formers and stakeholders of this rather more far-reaching competitive factor, which we should remember when our eyes are fixed on immediate needs for change.

For Finland it is critical that – based on expertise – as many jobs and as much economic growth as possible are created in companies operating here. Digitalisation and globalisation have long been mutually reinforcing phenomena among global megatrends. Finland has the potential to turn the situation to its advantage, since transformations always contain opportunities. We do not have to be left behind.

The reform of our structures and practices and – unfortunately – adaptation to our currently available resources, form the basis of success in this regard. We need the courage to carve out space for innovative forerunners. Finnish growth will largely be based on expertise and innovation.

Riikka Heikinheimo,
Executive Director, Competence and Growth
Confederation of Finnish Industries EK


comments powered by Disqus