The next parliamentary elections will be held in the spring. The Finnish Forest Industries Federation and its partners are already discussing the best course of action for the operating conditions of industry and businesses in the next parliamentary term in order to ensure a bright future for our country. We wish to exchange ideas with political decision-makers and parliamentary candidates on how to secure competitive strength and overcome the economic downturn, the quickening energy crisis, the increasing inflation and the dept-ridden public economy.

What are our expectations for the future parliamentary term? We would like to see decision-makers promote sustainable economic growth and balance the economy. We believe that Finland can find triumphs in the international race for investments and green jobs with high added value if we work together. Of course, in the middle of competition between superpowers and the green transition, that is what all the other countries want as well. However, we believe that our starting point, in terms of businesses, is quite good, as long as we ensure the internationally equal competitive conditions of the operating environment.

We must also make more of an effort in striving towards a green market economy rather than green planned economy, which is the direction that the trends have alarmingly seemed to take.

The goals of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation can be summarised as the following main points for the government term 2023–2027:

1. Securing sustainable forestry

2. A more self-sufficient EU through renewable raw materials

3. Sustainable economic policy

4. Facilitating international trade

5. Investing in RDI activities, education and training

6. Reforming working life

7. Pioneering sustainable solutions through flexible energy, traffic and environmental policies

In the European Union, Finland must ally itself with Member States that believe in an open economy and are committed to the sustainable management of finances. Energy self-sufficiency and security of supply must also be strengthened on a long-term basis. The climate benefits of forest industry products will only be realised if the products are put into service globally. The best way to achieve this is to remove export, import and investment obstacles with trade agreements and ensure that the products can access the market.

Unless we ensure the continuous development, innovation and commercialisation of better and more diverse wood-based solutions, we will not even have to worry about international trade agreements or honest rules for everyone. The creation of these solutions is only possible through smart investments in innovative activities, education and training. Any subsidies and forms of financing must be long-term as well. A stable and predictable RDI operating environment is an absolute requirement for success.

What about the current government? Can they just sit back and do nothing for the next eight months? Of course not. In addition to the energy crisis, the EU is preparing and making decisions on a number of important topics for Finland and the forest industry over the upcoming months. In the middle of all the forest-related directives coming from Brussels, we must be able to act consistently and promote Finland’s national interests as well. When it comes to Finnish forests, we are the best experts. We must let ourselves be heard.

See a detailed list of our goals for the government programme here. What are your thoughts? Let’s keep the discussion going.