The Year of Geology 2016

The growth programme supports exports in the mining industry

The Team Finland growth programmes funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment aim to promote the internationalisation of Finnish companies and to attract investments and tourists from abroad. There were 37 growth programmes at the end of 2016, of which one was the mining programme. The Geological Survey of Finland had a strong role in the programme with Finpro, an export promotion company.

According to the ministry, the programme lead by GTK utilises GTK’s expertise in the mining sector, their familiarity with Finnish actors, and their worldwide network better than before. Finpro’s areas of strength include growing the business of companies selling products and services, and finding market opportunities.

“We made a decision to create this kind of ecosystem. We listened to development ideas and combined GTK’s and Finpro’s strengths into one programme, says ministerial adviser Natalia Härkin from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.”

The mining industry growth programme started in late 2014. Its aim is to increase the exports of small and medium-sized mining technology and service companies, find foreign capital for companies, and attract mineral exploration companies and mining investments to Finland.

“The Finnish market is very limited for companies in this industry and the need to become international is great.” Many small companies have great potential and good opportunities on the global field.

Mentoring and market research

The growth programme helps companies in, for example, finding funding, networking, and marketing. In practice, the services include guidance, training, export coaching, mentoring, market research, and trade fair and delegation trips.

“When a company enters the programme, they have access to all these measures immediately,” Natalia Härkin says.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has reserved a total of EUR 74.1 million for the growth programmes in 2014–2018. The funding of mining industry ends at the end of 2017, but according to Härkin, the ministry is prepared to continue the funding in 2018, if there has been progress in the programme and the criteria for funding has been met.

Until last year, the ministry funded individual growth programmes, but now the programmes have been grouped in themes. The mining industry is included in the arctic business group. Other industries include bioeconomy & cleantech, digitalisation, well-being and health, tourism, and special themes, such as creative industries. These are considered Finland’s growth industries, in which the government wants to invest.