Internationality 2017: International attention and visitors to the Tampere Region

Indicators reflecting the internationality of the Tampere Region are still showing stagnation, but the Situational Picture does show positive signs, especially in terms of international visitors and media attention.

In the light of the foreign trade numbers, however, the development remains on the negative side. The Tampere Region trade balance continued its decline and exports remained at under EUR 4 billion showing a decrease of 3.9%. Although the trade balance decreased due to the combined effect of the decrease in exports and increase in imports, foreign trade did show a surplus. The surplus remained, however, at EUR 0.65 billion. Industrial exports stayed close to the figures of 2015 at EUR 5.7 billion (–0.4%).

In terms of export intensity*, the Tampere Region ranks on the national average. The strong demand in the domestic market and weakened exports have decreased the export intensity of the region in recent years. However, the export intensity of the industry has risen in recent years. That is to say, exports correspond to an increasing share of industrial turnover.

The number of exporting companies grew by 3% in 2015 resulting in a total number of 627 exporting companies. The number of exporting companies was, however, clearly lower than it was at the beginning of the decade.

No regional-level data is available in terms of service exports, but on a domestic level the significance of service exports has continued its growth in recent years, although there was a minor reduction in the amount of service exports in 2016. The value of service exports was EUR 23.0 billion while the value of goods exports was EUR 51.8 billion. The export of ICT services constituted the majority of service exports.

With regard to the accessibility of the Tampere Region, the Situational Picture seems to have further weakened in 2016. The number of international air passengers dropped considerably, but it seems that the situation has, however, taken a turn for the better in the light of preliminary data in 2017. Although the number of air passengers has decreased, the number of hotel stays of foreigners increased in 2016 (+6.7%).

Airport serves customers of a wide geographical area

Tampere-Pirkkala is the main airport of the Central and Western Finland. The access radius of Tampere-Pirkkala is the best in Finland. The location and business life targeting bold growth and development together with a strong, strategic regional development model are elements that make it possible for Tampere-Pirkkala to become the most significant regional airport in Finland and an important support point for our country’s main airport, Helsinki Airport, focusing on intercontinental feeder traffic. Read more in Marja Aalto’s article.

The number of international labour force has increased steadily in the Tampere Region over the decade. In 2017, the number of international labour force totalled approximately 7,000 people in the Tampere Region. The unemployment rate among foreigners was approximately 35% in 2016. According to data from the first part of 2017, the unemployment rate seems to have decreased. The share of foreign unemployed jobseekers with a higher education degree has grown in the 2010s. In 2016, higher education graduates constituted on average 25% of the unemployed foreign jobseekers.

The number of foreign degree students at higher education institutes has continued to decrease, but the number of foreign researchers increased in 2016. Utilisation of foreign human capital is a key factor in connecting the Tampere Region to international networks and value creation chains, but much remains to be done to make full use of the capital.

Rendering the Tampere Region even more international – making full use of the networks of international experts

Internationality and the internationalisation of enterprises have also expanded to cover the international expertise of enterprises, which brings with it new ways of thinking and new operating models. For a long time, large enterprises have made it more a rule than an exception to recruit experts from abroad, and corporate operating cultures have become more international from within. These examples have increased the appreciation of international networking and a wide network of contacts is seen as a part of the competence of a top expert. The launch of the Tampere Ambassador network in 2015 was one of the first openings in the activation of international networks and in the utilisation of the competence and contacts of foreign professionals already here. Read more in Mari Taverne’s article.

Visit Tampere monitors the visitor numbers of international conferences in its statistics. In 2016, conferences attracted a record number of visitors as several large events were organised in Tampere. Among others, MindTrek, JCI European Conference of the Junior Chamber International and Safety 2016 ─ World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion were very popular.

Tampere’s exposure in international media reached record heights in 2016. The increase in exposure was due to active international marketing in recent years and also due to individual phenomena, both negative and positive. Negative media attention was attracted by the redundancies by Microsoft and Nokia in Tampere. On the other hand, the Moomin Museum inaugurated in summer 2017 attracted ample attention in the international media as early as 2016 and it is a significant factor in increasing the international appeal of and interest in the Tampere Region.

*export / turnover x 100

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