Helsinki region needs its own competitiveness pact

Greater Helsinki must be afforded the same opportunity to develop its strengths as the more rural regions in Finland, demands Sauli Hievanen, an industry policy specialist at the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK).

“Finnish regional and competitiveness policy has always sworn by developing regional strengths. The Helsinki region, however, has not been allowed to do that,” he wrote in his blog on Tuesday  - writes

He views that urban policy making has been neglected by the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre). Sweden, he highlights, has invested ten times as much in supporting investments in its capital region than Finland. The word ‘urbanisation’ similarly does not appear once in the government programme, titled Finland, a land of solutions .

“In spite of its importance and future-shaping dimension, urban policy has not been on the agenda of the government of Sipilä. On the contrary, the government has been allowed to unabashedly strip cities of power until recently,” he slams.

Hievanen reminds that the success of the capital region is crucial also for the rest of Finland. He stresses that the next government must recognise the special significance of the region and take advantage of the positive effects of urbanisation on economic growth.

He draws attention to a study conducted by McKinsey, which indicates that the degree of urbanisation accounts for two-thirds of the disparities in gross domestic product growth in Europe and the United States.

“People primarily do not move to a particular country but rather to the most attractive cities. The importance of cities as producers and maintainers of competitiveness is greater than that of states. Metropolitan areas' significance as drivers of the global economy will increase particularly,” predicts Hievanen.

He also voices his support for demands that the next government agree on “a competitiveness pact” with the municipalities and higher education institutions in Greater Helsinki. The pact, he explains, would extend co-operation between the central administration and the metropolitan area to the domains of education, innovation and research.

The idea of the competitiveness pact was floated in an urban policy assessment published on Tuesday by MDI Public .The assessment was conducted on commission from SAK, Service Sector United (PAM), the Mortgage Society of Finland (Hypo), the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries (RT), the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra), and the Building Information Group.

It found, for example, that Greater Helsinki is growing at a relatively modest rate in comparison to the capital regions elsewhere in the Nordics.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva

Source: Uusi Suomi

Read more news of Helsinki on our site.
Helsinkiregion competitivenesspact
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A citizens initiative demanding the end of diesel tax met its target for 50,000 signatures in just one day, six months ahead of schedule. Cities across the world might be looking for ways to reduce the use of harmful diesel engines, but in Finland there appears to be a groundswell of popular support for the dirty fuel. On Monday Tuulikki Paavola published a citizens initiative demanding an end to Finland’s diesel tax was published, with the goal of getting...
The winners of the first edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition were awarded 7th of November at a ceremony in Brussels, on the occasion of the European Tourism Day. The title for 2019 was awarded to two cities: Helsinki and Lyon. Cities of more than 100.000 inhabitants were eligible in the first edition of this competition. 38 cities from 19 EU Member States applied, but Helsinki and Lyon stood out for their innovative tourism measure...
Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice-president at the European Investment Bank (EIB), has hinted at the possibility of returning to politics after losing the race to become the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) to Manfred Weber of Germany. Stubb received more votes than expected but lost to his rival candidate by a clear vote of 127 to 492 at EPP Congress Helsinki on Thursday. “I got a very good feeling [from the campaign], I must admit,” the fo...
The Finnish government will introduce no amendments to legislation on patient data during this electoral term, assures Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Saarikko and Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, have participated actively in public debate concerning a legislative proposal that, according to Helsingin Sanomat, has been drafted in secrecy and would grant police significantly wider access to sensitive pa...
School groups could in the future use public transport services in the Helsinki region free of charge when travelling with a teacher, according to a decision made by the Executive Board of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) on 30 October 2018. The final decision on transport charges, including tickets for school groups, will be made by the HSL General Meeting on 27 November.  From the beginning of 2019 onwards, municipal school administrations would no longer...
Finland has dropped to eighth in the world in the latest version of a ranking of countries according to their English language skills. Finns are now the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. The 2018 version of the ranking puts Finland in eighth spot, with western neighbour Sweden topping the comparison. This year’s result is the weakest Finland has achieved in the ranking, which has been published e...
The theme of next month's Independence Day ball at Helsinki's Presidential Palace will be climate change and environmental issues. The theme of this year's Independence Day reception will be climate change and the environment, according to the Office of the President of the Republic. Finland's most exclusive social occasion is just one month away, and the Office of the President has started sending invitations to some 1,700 guests for an evening that tradi...
The day's papers report on unsolved thefts, free head lice medicine for families and Angela Merkel's visit to Helsinki. Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that most larcenies go unsolved in Finland. According to statistics by the Police University College, police were able to clear 3,150 offences between January and September of this year, while about 41,500 remain unsolved. In 80 smaller municipalities, especially in Lapland and Åland, the police did not sol...
Finland's Tax Administration reports that 15,000 more eligible taxpayers declared no taxable income in the last two years, putting the total past 160,000 in 2017. The number of eligible taxpayers who reported no taxable income in Finland has risen by 15,000 in the last two years to a total of 161,000 in 2017. "Most of the people declaring no taxable income are...