The objectives are divided into seven main themes, under which the community has listed more concrete proposals and ideas for decision-makers. The new goals range from reviewing the legislation on the platform economy to adding English-language school places to Finland. In addition, the community emphasizes opportunities to provide more support for Finnish climate technology, create more flexible share exchange arrangements and develop legislation on cryptocurrencies.
“We have listened and asked Finnish startup entrepreneurs at different stages what we could do better in Finland to support their growth paths,” says Riikka Pakarinen, CEO of the Finnish Startup Community. “Our highest goal is to make Finland the best place in the world for the best talent – and that Finland is more attractive than Silicon Valley to start and grow a startup. This will make the Finnish startup sector a new hub. A pillar of the Finnish economy, bringing jobs and tax revenue.”
“We believe that by 2030, Finnish startups and growth companies will become the new backbone of the country’s economy – alongside the forest and metal industries – also in terms of exports and GDP, making it one of Finland’s most important economic sectors,” he says. Timo AhopeltoChairman of the Board of the Finnish Startup Community.
“We hope that these goals reflect our values: we are excited and have a positive attitude towards the opportunities around us and we truly believe that we will get far with the cooperation. Our goals are absolutely ambitious, we believe that they will be achievable,” Pakarinen concludes.
FSC policy proposals in brief
1. Finland is the best destination country for labor migration in the world
The competition for skilled people has become global. “Just good” is no longer enough. Finland must be the best place in the world to change after work.
Foreign talents and their families should be given and secured a two-week service pledge. The realization of this should be measured systematically from the moment the applicant submits his / her application to the system. This easy and smooth process should include identification, obtaining a work permit and all other practical steps from opening a bank account to a personal social security number. In addition, the process for identifying a foreign expert needs to be further developed and a digital identity project is being implemented. Finally, service pathways need to be streamlined and English-speaking schoolchildren need to be added to families of international ability.
2. Competence and RDI
Research and development expenditure should be raised to 4 per cent of Finland’s gross domestic product, as proposed by the RDI political group in Parliament. In order to achieve this goal, in addition to public funds, the focus must be on activating private R&D investment.
The increase in private R&D investment means that both Finnish and foreign companies are concentrating their R&D activities in Finland. The other proposals of the working group should be implemented as soon as possible.
In Finland, the amount and scope of education that meets the needs of modern working life must be raised to the best in the world. Students from abroad must find employment in Finland faster – they must be attracted to stay even better. Coding and entrepreneurship should be added as optional subjects for everyone from primary school onwards. We also need to increase access for technology students to universities and colleges.
More needs to be done with top researchers. Teams need to be built around them – they can solve even the most difficult problems in their field. Cutting-edge research and the world’s best partners and collaborators go hand in hand.
3. Startups are a solution to the challenges of climate change and health technology
Start-ups that solve the challenges of climate change have an important role to play in Finland’s position as a pioneer in sustainable development. There are many Finnish startups in the field of plastic recycling and new energy, for example.
By investing in environmental technology, we can develop methods of economic production so that we do not have to choose between economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Being at the forefront of environmental technology means significant financial gains for those who are the first to develop the best innovations. A significant number of top environmental experts have already accumulated in Finland. This development must also be supported more systematically by public investment and international cooperation.
4. The platform economy needs clearer rules of the game
We need to create legislation in Finland that both supports new forms of work and defines the region in a sustainable way.
Start-ups and especially platform companies are bringing new ways and models to the economy. Enterprise policy and regulation must enable and encourage policy reform to take account of social and ecological conditions. The regulation of the Finnish telecommunications sector, which came into force before the peak, is an excellent example of this.
5. Tax Incentives
Finland must study tax incentives in order to attract international companies and experts.
Although we do not encourage tax competition, Finland must look at models that attract companies to establish themselves in our competitor countries. The fact is that if Finland does not become competitive, jobs will be created elsewhere and the Finnish economy will get nothing.
The Finnish government should review the fiscal decisions of competing countries to support the creation of high-productivity jobs. In the start-up sector, it is important that the domestic market has time to create a critical mass of companies and jobs working together under the same ecosystem. For this critical mass of companies and jobs to emerge in the domestic market, growth-friendly fiscal decisions are needed.
6. Review and interpretation of legislation on block chains and cryptocurrencies
Legislation is needed on blockchain and virtual currencies that supports both startups operating in these fields and enabling them to settle in Finland.
Block chain technologies are part of the Internet of the future. They are important for the gaming industry, which is a major player in Finland. Regulation in the sector is taking shape, while companies in the sector are already growing at a rapid pace. Countries that are now able to seize regulation of the sector have the opportunity to create similar benefits to their countries as the first telecommunications revolution in the 1990s – which gave rise to e.g. Nokia’s success story.
7. Flexible share exchange arrangements should also be possible with the EFTA countries and the United States
In mergers and acquisitions where the purchase price is made in a share transaction with a company located outside the EU, the tax sanction will only take effect when the shares received in return are sold. According to the current Finnish legislation, in tax transactions with a company located in the EU, the tax sanction does not take effect until the shares received have been sold. Finnish tax legislation should be amended so that the provisions for EU regions also apply to the EFTA countries and the United States.
Read more about the suggestions here.
Source: Finnish Startup Community
Source: The Nordic Page