Finland seeks investments from SWFs

Finland is seeking to establish ties with Gulf sovereign funds to attract investments in industrial projects, said Tuomo Airaksinen, Chief Executive Officer of Invest in Finland, the Finnish Investment Authority.

The UAE is one of the Arab economies that are most attractive to foreign investments, thanks to its flexible economy, strong financial position, high transparency and the laws enacted to protect investments, said Airaksinen.

In a statement to Wam in Helsinki, Airaksinen said: "More than 40 Finnish contracting and manufacturing companies are already operating in the UAE… Newly-launched giant projects in Abu Dhabi provide big opportunities for Finnish companies in the coming years."

Although Gulf states have small direct investments in Finland, they have pumped big investments in Finnish banks, he noted without revealing numbers.

Foreign Direct Investments in Finland reached €6 billion (Dh34.2bn) in 2007 and 303 foreign companies have already moved to the Scandinavian country, the Finnish official added.

Finland hosts around 4,000 foreign companies operating in hi-tech and advanced industries, he said adding that Scandinavian countries are competing to attract foreign investments.

Finland seeks to exploit its geographical location to further boost trade with neighbouring countries.

"Around 50 per cent of foreign investments in Finland come from Sweden followed by the Netherlands."

Finnish gold mines, which will be operational next year, have already attracted investments from around 40 foreign companies and the number is expected to grow, Airaksinen added in the statement. (Wam)