According to local sources, the pharmaceutical industry will be the next sector in Finland’s economy to show strong growth. Both the number of companies operating in the pharmaceutical sector and the number of professionals employed in the industry are expected to double in the next ten years. Specifically, the number of companies operating in Finland’s pharmaceutical industry and associated sectors is expected to increase from its current total of approximately 50 to a total of 140 companies by 2010. By the same year, current forecasts indicate that the number of experts and professionals employed in the industry will more than double to a total of 14,000. In the same period, sales by the industry are expected to rise to EUR3,500 million-approximately $3,200 million. Major part of this sum will be coming from outside Finland. In addition to medicine-related sales, the Finnish pharmaceutical sector is expected to generate significant sales volume through the provision of product development and manufacturing services.
Pharmaceutical companies’ experts support that the Finnish pharmaceutical sector is based on high-level know-how and this will bring foreign capital to Finland very soon. Companies will also be coming to Finland to exploit the product development expertise. In fact, the Finish pharmaceutical sector’s growth is mainly supported by Finland’s position as one of the leading high-technology locations in the world. In fact, the strong growth of the Finnish pharmaceutical sector offers excellent opportunities for U.S. companies and venture capitalists to cooperate with Finnish companies in joint ventures and partnerships.
One of the biggest contributors for a foreign investment to take place is the target country’s workforce, which is based not only on the skilled, but also on the number of available workers. Pharmaceutical companies tend to look at the talent, but it is definitely an employee’s market out there. That is not a problem in Finland, because the national unemployment rate is still high. A second major factor is presence of other pharmaceutical companies. If a location is right for one company, it probably offers the same advantages to others. Recruiting new employees with R&D or manufacturing skills, for instance, is easier if there is already a large base of pharmaceutical or biotech workers right in the neighborhood. Because the pharmaceutical industry has close ties with the medical community, it is common for R&D and manufacturing companies to locate close to major medical centers. On the other hand, pharmaceutical and biotech companies developing products for food crops or livestock generally prefer communities in farming areas. The reason so many large pharmaceutical companies and smaller biotech start-ups are expanding or locating in Finnish is because they are offered what they are looking for. With a strong supply of highly skilled labor, a significant incentive package, a favorable wage differential and sophisticated communications and transportation systems, Finland is bound to attract pharmaceutical companies during the next decades.