It is high time Finland diversifies its production and supply chains to come away from its trade dependence with China, even though finding alternatives is difficult, a new study states.
Finland relies heavily on China for machinery, textiles, furniture and other household products, with almost two-thirds of laptops and nearly 50% of phones imported from China, statistics from the Finnish Customs read.
Finland’s dependence on China is so strong that the Finnish trade and electronics companies would suffer greatly from the disruption of imports from China, a study by the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) published on Friday shows.
Yet, finding alternative sources would be difficult since many countries would presumably be simultaneously affected, the study added.
In a press release by the Foreign Ministry, which coordinated the study, the Under-Secretary of State for International Trade, Nina Vaskunlahti encouraged companies to continue to assess their supply chains for potential commercial disruptions.
In an interview with YLE, Vaskunlahti said it was high time to examine the situation and hold talks about China’s impact on Finland – even if there have been no significant Chinese investments in Finnish infrastructure and the direct links between Finland’s financial sector and China are moderate.
Finland should aim to reduce its dependence on external sources as much as possible to become more self-sufficient and increase domestic production, including components, said Vaskunlahti, noting that Finland harbours 14 of the 30 critical raw materials currently listed by the European Commission.
Finland should remain open to global trade and cooperation, she added.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)