BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2017/23

Statistics Finland figures for 2015 show that the affiliates of Finnish firms in China for the first time made China Finland's top investment destination, beating out both Sweden and Russia. The gross investment of Finnish affiliates in tangible assets in mainland China amounted to EUR 755 million (72 % y-o-y growth). Investment was accelerated by higher net sales in China in 2014, when turnover for Finnish affiliates rose by 32 %. Investments fluctuate greatly from year to year, however.

The number of Finnish affiliates operating in China rose to 230 last year. Despite the increase in the number of firms, the employee numbers continued to fall. Finnish subsidiaries employed around 50,000 people in 2015, down from about 70,000 in 2011. Finnish subsidiaries in China employed an average of 220 people in 2015 (down from 335 in 2011). Despite the lower employee numbers, they are still far higher than in Russia (121 people per firm) or the average for all Finnish international affiliates (98).

The turnover of Finnish affiliates in China fell by 4 % last year to EUR 10 billion, which is clearly more than affiliates in Russia (EUR 7 billion), but less than in Sweden (EUR 26 billion) or the United States (EUR 17 billion).

The 49 Finnish affiliates operating in Hong Kong are smaller than those operating in mainland China. Their net sales last year averaged just EUR 16 million (EUR 44 million in mainland China).

Finnish affiliates operating in China

Source: Statistics Finland.