In recent years, the compilation of foreign trade statistics has developed following the publication of the statistics on value added-based international trade produced by Statistics Finland in collaboration with the OECD. The statistics enable a more in-depth examination of the significance of global value chains and exports.

By examining the statistics, it is possible to answer questions such as the following: how much of the value of Finnish companies' exports is created in Finland and how much of production inputs imported from abroad are required for the exports of different industry sectors? In addition, it is possible to examine how many Finnish jobs are dependent on export demand, either directly or indirectly.

So, what does the significance of forest industry exports for Finland's national economy look like based on the figures of the latest statistics?

In 2021, the direct and indirect domestic added value of forest industry exports totalled EUR 10 billion. This amounts to 72 per cent of the gross value of forest industry exports. At the same time, the average proportion of domestic added value of the exports of all industries in Finland was 62 per cent. The statistics show that forest industry exports covered more than 16 per cent of the total domestic added value of Finnish exports. In this calculation, the whole of Finnish exports includes not only goods exports, but also service exports.

The high proportion of domestic added value of forest industry exports indicates that the industry sector needs less than average of raw materials, intermediate products and services imported from abroad in its own production. In other words, the production value chains are largely created in Finland.

It is also noteworthy that almost half of the domestic added value of exports in the industry sector stems indirectly from the Finnish work done in other industry sectors. Value is created from forestry and timber harvesting, transport, storage, wholesale trade and other sectors that produce inputs for the forest industry.

In addition to the domestic added value of exports, the new statistics also make it possible to examine the employment effects of exports in more detail. According to National Accounts, the forest industry directly employs nearly 40,000 people. In addition to these direct sector-specific employment effects, forest industry exports and extensive domestic value chains provide extensive employment in other industry sectors. The new statistics show that all in all, the jobs of nearly 78,000 people in Finland were either directly or indirectly dependent on forest industry exports in 2020.

Forest industry exports and extensive domestic value chains lead to major multiplier effects on the Finnish economy. The sector benefits Finland's national economy and the well-being of Finns in the form of jobs, wages, stumpage income, tax revenue and corporate profits, which enables future investments that are important for competitiveness. Successful forest industry also contributes to the sustainability of public finances.

Forests are Finland's most important natural resource, and the processing and export of wood-based products are of major importance to the national economy. This view is further corroborated by the conception obtained from the value added-based statistics on international trade.

The value added-based statistics on international trade were developed as part of a joint development project of Statistics Finland and the OECD in 2019–2020. The development project was carried out to respond to the growing need to describe and analyse the effects of globalisation on society. The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Prime Minister's Office and the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers' Foundation.