Foreign investor eyes huge investment potential in Rovaniemi
13 Sep 2017, 11:58 ( 6 days ago)
A Chinese investor emphasized the need for promotional activities to attract foreign investment in Rovaniemi and northern Finland.
Speaking at a seminar on “Northern Means Business: 'From Berlin to Arctic Ocean' organized by the House of Lapland on September 6 in Helsinki, Tian Zhang, an investor and the Deputy Managing Director of Nova-Roi Oy, also said the Chinese will take up ventures if they are aware of investment options.
Topics on logistics available in Lapland and Chinese investment potentials as well as issues relating to sustainable development in the Arctic region were discussed during the breakfast seminar.
Zhang talked exclusively to the Daily Finland after the seminar when she pointed out various aspects and potentials for more foreign investment in Rovaniemi.
The Chinese investor shared her own ideas on how to attract more Chinese investment in Rovaniemi and in Lapland as well. Promotional campaign is required for local companies to efficiently advertise their potentials to Chinese investors, she felt.
“We need to let people know that the potential of Rovaniemi is huge,” Zhang said.
Putting forward some recommendations for improving the investment climate in Rovaniemi further, she said local businesses should work out “a whole package” for investors, highlighting practical information about municipal policies, potential sectors for investment, key products and investment procedures.
The seminar stresssed that the city authorities take up more trade promotion events to woo foreign investors. The initiative of the tourism information center - Visit Rovaniemi came up in the discussion. It recently organized annual roadshow and business trips that brought local hoteliers and hospitality companies as well as Chinese investors together to explore cooperation and opportunities. Also, a preferential policy to grant resident permits for Chinese investors was also recommended, among other special offers for trade and investment promotion.
In recent years, Rovaniemi has attracted substantial foreign investment, mainly from China in commerce and tourism. One of the pioneer projects is Nova Skyland Hotel undertaken by Chinese company - Nova-Roi Oy, proving Chinese investors' growing attention to Rovaniemi’s potentials. “Seeing the fast-paced growth in tourism industry in Rovaniemi, we decided to run the project," Tian said.
Construction work was started in September 2016. The hotel is expected to begin commercial operation in October this year.
Talking about the construction process, Zhang highly appreciated the quality of local building contractors. “Finnish people are very reliable," she affirmed. Apart from the Nova Skyland Hotel, other prominent projects under Chinese investments in the northern area are also undergoing such as the refinery factory in Kemijarvi.
Starting off as a Chinese language teacher at the University of Lapland, Zhang found her own tourism-related business in Rovaniemi. After years of critical market analysis, she gained certain knowledge of investment situation in the city. Putting her whole efforts together with partners in hotel business, Zhang believes the Nova Skyland project will be very promising along with the tourism development in Rovaniemi.
Despite the potential of Rovaniemi, many Chinese investors find it hard to get investment information in Finland or cope with cultural-differences. Obtaining investment permits is also not easy. “China’s economy has been growing really fast, while Chinese investors have been looking for potential investment projects in different countries; however, not many of them have enough information regarding investment in Finland in general and in Rovaniemi in particular," Zhang pointed out.
Located on the Arctic Circle in Finland’s Lapland, Rovaniemi is endowed with distinctively beautiful nature, different from other parts of Finland. This is the place where tourists can have unique travel experiences like Midnight sun, Northern lights and Santa Claus visit. Also, considered a wintertime hub with extended Christmas season, Rovaniemi’s image has dramatically changed on a large scale thanks to the increasing local and international tourism investments. “I feel positive about Rovaniemi in the coming years, when the tourism industry will develop even faster with its gifted strengths” Zhang remarked.