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Helsinki’s industrial policy goals promote city attractiveness and operational preconditions for businesses

The City Strategy outlines Helsinki as a place for growth. The city’s priority areas for economic development play an important role in implementing this goal. They help develop Helsinki as an attractive location for professionals and businesses, drawing in new people, businesses and investments. The goal is to increase Helsinki’s economic activity and diversify its industries and occupations. The City of Helsinki has now updated its industrial policy priorities. Successful industrial policy is important to strengthen the city’s economy and ability to provide services that support a good living environment and well-being for all citizens.

The City of Helsinki’s goal is to have a predictable and consistent industrial policy. The city’s long-term goals to create preconditions for growth include improving the employment of Helsinki residents, ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce for businesses and developing an operating environment that supports their competitiveness. Helsinki also aims to further strengthen its attractiveness as a city for sustainable tourism, culture and events. It improves the city’s international appeal from the point of view of investments and skilled labour.

“The City’s goal is to grow, renew and diversify Helsinki-based entrepreneurship and business activities. The city will accelerate the creation and establishment of new businesses in Helsinki by providing targeted advisory and development services, events and training. The city continuously develops its services’ enterprise-friendliness and evaluates the impact of the decisions on business life,” says Mayor of Helsinki, Juhana

Helsinki’s industrial policy aims at increasing the attractiveness

The city is committed to developing the preconditions for tourism, cultural services and events, which the industrial policy considers an essential part of the appeal of Helsinki. Many other factors also affect the city’s competitiveness as a business environment. From the perspective of the industrial policy goals, Helsinki must be an attractive and pleasant living environment with good basic services, sufficient housing, premises and education, smooth traffic and good administration to provide a basis for the success of various businesses and employees.

The city must be customer-oriented, transparent and fair in its operations. It is also important to promote the competitiveness and smooth functionality of the market through city activities.

Strategy period focusing on international experts, global challenges and vital city centre

In addition to the long-term industrial policy goals, Helsinki has defined three different priorities for the next strategy period. Firstly, the city aims to attract international professionals, businesses and investments by, for example, organising attractiveness campaigns to support international recruitment and by improving the city’s settlement services. Here, the development of English-language services is important.

Secondly, the City of Helsinki aims to identify ways to support the regional business community to develop business activities designed to solve globally relevant problems. The city wants to be an active innovation partner for companies in developing new solutions.

“According to the City Strategy, Helsinki wants to take an active role in providing solutions to dire global challenges. I believe that an increasing share of new business and investments will be directed towards developing such solutions. Helsinki can have a significant role in this,” says Marja-Leena
, Director of Economic Development at the City of Helsinki.

Helsinki also invests in cooperation with the universities in the region. We will strive to strengthen and develop Helsinki’s status as a top startup hub, innovative environment and hotbed of business opportunity in Europe. The city strongly supports the development of higher education campuses as significant innovation and expertise centres.

The third priority is to strengthen the vitality of the city centre by developing the internal coordination of the related city projects, decisions and measures and by further increasing collaboration with the business community.

Industrial policy goals to be monitored and updated annually

The priorities areas for economic development may also require updating due to current and unforeseen events, and they will be reviewed annually. The current war in Ukraine, for example, may affect the short and long term preconditions of Helsinki’s industrial policy in terms of tourism and international appeal.

The new industrial policy priorities were decided at the City Board’s Economic Development Sub-committee meeting on 14 March 2022. The meeting discussed and approved the Priority areas for the City of Helsinki’s economic development
document. The realisation of the priority areas for the economic development will be regularly monitored in the City Board’s Economic Development Sub-committee.

Read more from the document Priority areas for the City of Helsinki’s economic development 2022–2025 (in Finnish).

News photo: Janne Hirvonen