Value Network Capability 2017: Positive glimpses in the development of competitiveness

The impact of the long economic slump are still being felt in the competitiveness of the Tampere Region. There are, however, glimpses of positive developments in sight in this Situational Picture, as there are now also signs of the economy picking up in the indicators.

Some of the indicators describing competitiveness have maintained a relatively stable and steady level during the latest years. Among other things, the change in the investment level, number of employed experts and export intensity have stayed under 1% in one direction or the other. Economic improvement does, however, predict the recovery of, for example, investment activities in the coming years.

One of the most positive observations in the Situational Picture is the growth of the value added at factor cost in industry (+9.2%). This increased in particular in the manufacture of food products and beverages, vehicles and in the chemical industry. There was also a moderate increase in the value added per hours worked. The turnover in digital services reached record heights (+7.3%) in 2015.

In the Tampere Region, industrial exports remained roughly the same, year-on-year, at approximately EUR 5.7 billion in 2016. The export intensity* of the Tampere Region is at the national average and has slightly decreased in the past five years. Strong demand in the domestic market and the decline in exports in recent years are also impacting the development of export intensity. The export intensity of industry has, however, improved, i.e. exports are constituting an increasing share of the industrial turnover.

A clear, positive signal in the Situational Picture is the increase seen in the number of growth companies after the drop experienced in the previous growth period. The number of growth companies grew by 10.8%, but this was nowhere near the level of the peak period level. Growth has been generated especially in the fields of business services, industry, construction as well as in the fields of information and communications.

There has been positive movement in the field of bio and circular economy in the Tampere Region in recent years. The region offers diverse business operations that cross sector boundaries and strengthen circular economy as well as wide-ranging research expertise. Among other things, the competence cluster of bioeconomy, water economy and circular economy of the ECO3 area offers the enterprises linked to the theme a unique industrial-scale business, demonstration and pilot environment. Read more about the competitiveness of bio- and circular economy.

The number of entrepreneurs declined for the second year in a row (–2.0%). The share of entrepreneurs among the working population has, however, stayed fairly stable above 10% in the 2010s. The economic conditions affect the number of entrepreneurs and the employed, and the poor economic situation has decreased the numbers in both groups in recent years. The traditional entrepreneurship sectors include agriculture, services and construction, but the number of entrepreneurs has also increased in the more non-traditional sectors, such as the information and communications sector and industry. Statistically, new enterprises are still established fairly cautiously and in the traditional sectors.

The majority of entrepreneurs are still middle-aged. Although the share of young entrepreneurs among the employed of the same age group seems to have slightly increased in the 2010s, the number of young entrepreneurs has started to decrease in most recent years. The share of young entrepreneurs among all entrepreneurs has also decreased. Attitude towards entrepreneurship is generally positive among young people, but the process of becoming an entrepreneur is hindered, among other things, by studies and uncertainty of income as well as the administrative and legal factors related to the establishment of an enterprise. Although more entrepreneurship education than ever before is provided in academic studies, and higher education institutes arrange entrepreneurship-related training and support services, young people remain cautious when it comes to setting up enterprises.

The competitiveness of the Finnish regions has been examined in a separate analysis. In the light of the analysis, the Tampere Region still remains one of Finland’s most significant export and industrial areas and the region’s research and development investments are among the best on a national scale. However, it can be seen in the analysis that the recovery of the Tampere Region from the previous economic shock has been slower when compared, for example, to the Capital Region. The change of scale, for example, in research and development operations in the Tampere Region has been considerably more drastic than in the Capital Region. Read more about the competitiveness of the regions.

*export / turnover x 100

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