Substantial leap in forest industry investments

New bioproduct factory that will be opened in Äänekoski, central Finland by Metsä Group in 2017, will represent larger share of Finnish forest industry's investments in the years to come. Photo: Metsä Group

According to an inquiry by the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, the investments of the Finnish forest industry will increase by 50 percent this year.

Industrial investments will actually increase across the board, by up to 20 percent. As for the forest industry, annual investments are predicted to come up to EUR 915 million, while those of all manufacturing industries together will increase to over EUR four thousand million.

The forest industry’s share of the fixed investments of the manufacturing industries will be some 22 percent. Even so, the chemical industry will invest more than this.

The ratio between fixed investments and value added in the manufacturing industries dropped considerably in 2013, to less than 11 percent. In 2014–2015 it is predicted to increase to 14 percent, which is close to the Western European average. If R&D costs are also included, the ratio is estimated to be some 25 percent.

Of other bioeconomy industries, the investments of the chemical industry increased significantly already in 2014 and will come up to slightly over EUR one thousand million this year. The investments of the food industry, too, are on a slight increase and will reach EUR 560 million this year.

Research perks up

The EK inquiry also covered the development of R&D costs. In Finland they decreased by five percent in 2014, but are now taking an upward turn.

On the other hand, the number of employees in research and development in Finnish companies is decreasing this year, especially outside Finland. It is estimated that research and development by industrial companies employs close to 21,000 people this year in Finland.

The R&D costs of the chemical industry are forecast to increase slightly this year, up to EUR 341 million. The forest industry’s R&D activity in Finland is also showing signs of growth and should reach the level of EUR 112 million this year.

The EK inquiry, carried out in April and May 2015, focused on investments completed in 2013–2014 as well as on investments planned for 2015. The companies that responded to the inquiry cover about 80 percent of all industrial investments.

As regards the forest industry, the response rate was 98 percent, both by turnover and the number of employees.


Confederation of Finnish Industries EK


 

Author

Hannes Mäntyranta

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