Lahti – South Finland - Finland


 Overview

 

The Lahti region is part of the Helsinki metropolitan area. The City of Lahti has more than 100 000 inhabitants and the province 200 000 inhabitants. Logistically the region is ideally located in the centre of Southern Finland, with good connections to other parts of the country as well as to St. Petersburg in Russia. Business opportunities are supported by the versatile structure of trade in the area. Strong business networks offer good opportunities for cooperation and subcontracting. The location of the Lahti Region is ideal in relation to southern Finland’s population and business clusters; half the population of Finland lives within 2 hours of Lahti.

Compared to other major urban regions in Finland and the capital region in particular, the Lahti region offers considerable cost advantages in terms of both business and living. The region offers also excellent opportunities for leisure activities, not least because of its outstanding sports facilities.

The Region’s central location close to the growing markets of southern Finland and Russia provides a cost-effective business environment.

Advantages of the Lahti Region:

Excellent road and rail connections

  • A wide choice of industrial and logistics sites
  • Lowest cost of business premises and
  • Industrial sites amongst major urban areas
  • Availability of skilled, capable professionals
  • Lahti University Consortium (comprising four
  • Finnish universities and the Lahti University of
  • Applied Sciences)
  • Public funding available for business development
  • Natural gas – an alternative energy source at a competitive price
  • A pleasant living environment; accommodation at affordable prices
  • A wide choice of recreational activities

 


Lahti – Helsinki

By Car                                  Approximately 1 hour

Fastest train connection:        48 minutes - daily at 30 minute intervals

Direct coach service               Everyday, once an hour

 

Lahti - St. Petersburg

Fastest train connection:        2 hours 30 minutes.

 

 

  •  Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport is just one hour’s drive away from Lahti
  •  A direct motorway link provides a fast connection between Vuosaari Harbour and Lahti, bypassing the Ring Road III around Helsinki

 

Distances:

 

  • Helsinki                       104 km
  • Vuosaari Harbour       99 km
  • Tampere                     126 km
  • Jyväskylä                     167 km
  • Hamina                       108 km
  • Turku 2                        68 km
  • Oulu                            505 km
  • St Petersburg              314 km

Lahti – a business supportive environment

 

A welcoming and green living environment, a vivid business life and versatile education possibilities have attracted people to Lahti from all over Finland and ensured the growth center’s energetic development. The population has grown steadily throughout the 21st century.

 

The Lahti region is especially well-known for its environmental and cleantech expertise on top of its reputation as an international leader in design. Pragmatic innovations are also one of the region’s strengths. Traditional industries such as mechatronics, grains, trade, services as well as the strongly expanding tourism and wellbeing sectors, are still the cornerstones of the region’s growth and development. Its excellent location in the metropolitan area, right by the railway line, and at a crossroads of highways offers a cost effective operating environment for companies near the markets of southern Finland and Russia.

 

Research, development and education at the Lahti University Consortium support businesses in the region and guarantee the availability of an educated workforce. More than 24,000 people every year study in a university or a vocational institute in the Lahti region.

 

For innovative and entrepreneurial businesses support is available from LADEC who work with you with expert business development support and funding for refining a product or a service idea into business with growth potential. Their business advisors support businesses by evaluating and developing the business idea, financial calculations, finding funding options, selecting a suitable company form, explaining permit and registration issues, drafting a marketing plan and selecting business premises. This is a free service.

Businesses can also benefit from “Promoto” which is a team-based environment where experts and business concepts based on customer needs can meet. The communal space, based in 9 locations in Lahti comes complete with IT equipment and is a great place for networking and participating in the development a business.


Industry Sectors and Clusters

 

Cleantech

 

The Lahti region is home to the country’s second largest environmental technology cluster. The Cleantech industry specifically focuses on energy and material savings, eco-efficient solutions, recycling and the conversion of waste into energy. The Department of Ecological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki and the Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Lahti Centre lead academic research in the area.

 

in Finland there are over 2000 enterprises active in various clean technology (cleantech) sectors. The overall turnover of the most prominent Finnish cleantech companies was 17.9 billion euros in 2010, with an annual growth rate of 5.6%.

 

The Lahti Region Development LADEC Ltd coordinates the activities of the Finnish Cleantech Cluster. Up to June 2010, the cluster has been involved in the creation of more than 65 new cleantech companies and more than 500 jobs in the sector. Lahti brings its specialist expertise to the cluster through such things as its internationalisation programmes. Lahti has also invested considerably in growth funding services for the cleantech sector, and is the organiser and venue for the industry's much-respected Cleantech Venture Day.

 

The city of Lahti has been a pioneer in the development and use of technologies aimed at the utilisation of waste. In the area of Päijät-Häme, 96% of urban waste is already utilised, one of the highest figures on Finland. This is already some way ahead of national requirements. Lahti Energy Ltd has been making use of energy waste for more than 10 years using gasification technology developed in Finland. By exploiting energy waste, it has been possible to replace 700,000 tonnes of coal, and at the same time to reduce CO2 emissions.

 

Halton Group, Aidon and Tamturbo are a few of many businesses thriving in the sector in Finland.


 

Industrial Design

 

The Lahti region is one of Finland’s design expertise concentrations and a leader in the commercial application of industrial design expertise. In the past few years several successful industrial companies in the area have recognized design as one of their key competitive assets. The Lahti region has a unique profile that combines design and business to truly boost business competitiveness. The Lahti Institute of Design represents the cutting edge in industrial design in Finland and internationally.


 

Mechatronics Cluster

The Mechatronics Cluster plays a key role in providing a strong economic foundation for the Lahti region measured, whether its effects are measured by turnover or by the number of businesses or jobs. The Mechatronics Cluster consists of companies that operate in several different industrial branches but utilize similar technology in their given fields. The industrial branches covered include, for instance, wood technology, electrical devices, materials handling, environment and housing, and transport equipment. The cluster also integrates a number of supporting mini clusters, including systems and component suppliers, and ICT and design services. In developing the cluster the focus is on:

  • New business models and processes
    - producing real added value in value networks, industrial services, unique expertise and modes of operation
  • Technology innovations and expertise 
    - embedded systems/intelligent machinery, software, industrial design and materials efficiency
  • Commercialisation innovations and expertise 
    - new kinds of earning logic, marketing, brand expertise, distribution channels (e.g. the Web)
  • Expenses and increasing productivity
    - Cost of materials, outsourcing, general wage trends and local contracts, indirect employee costs and flexibility

The Lahti Mechatronics Network (LMN) is a core group of active member companies in the mechatronics cluster. The companies' common goal is to improve the competitiveness of companies operating as part of the cluster, developing favourable conditions for business and generating new business by strengthening network cooperation.

The membership in the LMN has continued to grow and new members are signing up. Our newest members are Jarmeta Oy, Peltisepänliike Koskinen Oy, Rautekno Oy, Symbio Oy, MarkInvest SBp and Protacon Logix Ltd.

 


Right caliber talent pool

 

The Lahti region offers a comprehensive portfolio of educational opportunities for both adults and young people from upper secondary and vocational schools to university degrees in the Lahti University of Applied Sciences or in the Lahti University Consortium. Approximately 17,000 students receive vocational and university education in Lahti each year, providing the city with an active student life.

 

Salpaus Further Education

Salpaus Further Education is a regional college providing vocational education and training, staff development  services and general upper-secondary education in the Lahti region.

Salpaus provides vocational upper-secondary and adult education and training in the fields defined by the Ministry of Education:


- Humanities and education
- Culture
- Social science, business and administration
- Natural sciences
- Technology, communication and transport
- Natural resources and the environment
- Social services, health and sport
- Tourism, catering and domestic services


We have more than 20.000 students in secondary and continuing vocational education of whom
- more than 5.000 strive for a vocational qualification
- some 200 for an upper secondary school diploma
- over 15.000 pursue studies in adult education.

We have a skilled and competent staff of almost 800 persons of whom some 550 are teachers.


Lahti University of Applied Sciences

Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LUAS) is a large, multidisciplinary higher education institution. The Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes at LUAS have been designed to respond to the demands and development needs of business and industry. Active collaboration with business, industry and other organisation are an integral part of studies.

It is a regional centre of expertise with over 5,000 students and approximately 250 full-time teaching staff. Annually LUAS also employs  about 70 part-time teachers from other academic institutions, business and industry.

Lahti University of Applied Sciences operates in the fields of business, design and communication, fine arts, music, hospitality management, social and health care, technology and engineering and technology. LUAS has over 20 degree programmes with over 40 specialisation lines. Two Bachelor's and one Master's degree programmes taught entirely in English.


Lahti University Consortium

The Lahti University Consortium is a network university that was established by four Finnish universities and that offers services provided by departments of these universities. The Lahti University Consortium brings together the knowledge base of Lahti’s trade and industry, the profound expertise in the Päijät-Häme region and the firm scientific expertise of the parent universities.

The units of the Lahti University Consortium are listed below:·

Aalto University School of Science and Technology Lahti Center
University of Helsinki, Open University, Lahti
University of Helsinki, Palmenia Center for Research and Continuing Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Ecological and Environmental Sciences
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti School of Innovation
Tampere University of Technology, Lahti Unit
Lahti Science Library


 

Easy access to both Eastern and Western markets

Thanks to its unique geographical location and history, Lahti has over the years developed a sound awareness of both Eastern and Western mentalities, and firm traditions of cooperation. Lahti entrepreneurs are familiar with Eastern countries, and they have retained strong links with entrepreneurs from this region. Finland is valued in Eastern markets as a member of the European Union that has the know-how of European business culture. The well-developed logistics business in Lahti confirms the country‘s role of a middleman between the East and the West.


Business Set Up

Setting up a business in Finland is quick and easy. Options include incorporation, sole proprietorship, a partnership (general and limited), or a joint venture. Issues that must be dealt with include the tax implications associated with different structures, local legal systems, accounting principles, special permits and registration procedures. Invest in Finland will support a new business along the way helping themclose deals with estate agencies, recruiting companies, legal firms, accountants and providers of marketing services at the stage when they don’t yet have permanent staff in place.

Their extended network of contacts with public authorities and service providers in the private sector simplify everything to do with starting up a business. Launching your new operation on schedule – with or without the media – will be important to your success.


Facts on Finland

Finland has transformed its economy in a matter of decades to become one of the richest countries and most stable societies in the world. In the 1950s, the Finnish economy was still largely based on primary production and an agrarian workforce. Today, Finland is leading or near the top of most international comparisons in terms of growth and development in the economic, technological and social spheres.

The largest sector of the Finnish economy is services at 65%, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31%. Primary production is at 3%. Finland’s main industrial products are paper and board, electronics and metal products. The engineering and high technology industries, led by Nokia, have long been the leading branches of manufacturing.

Finnish Economy

Finland has transformed its economy in a matter of decades to become one of the richest countries and most stable societies in the world. In the 1950s the Finnish economy was still largely based on primary production and an agrarian workforce. Today Finland is leading or near the top of most international comparisons in terms of growth and development in the economic, technological and social spheres.

The largest sector of the Finnish economy is services at 65 %, followed by manufacturing and refining at 31 %. Primary production is at 3 %. Finland’s main industrial products are paper and board, electronics and metal products. The engineering and high technology industries, led by Nokia, have long been the leading branches of manufacturing.

Statistics of the Finnish Economy

Total area: 338,000 square kilometres

Neighbouring countries: Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Russia (Finland’s 1,269-km-long land border with Russia is the eastern border of the European Union)

Population: 5.4 million; 67% live in towns or urban areas, 33% in rural areas

Main towns: Helsinki (599,680) Espoo (254,742), Tampere (215,733), Vantaa (204,425), Turku (178,718) and Oulu (190,200)

Languages: Finnish 90.67%, Swedish 5.43%, Lappish 0.03%, Russian 0.97%, other 2.90%.Finnish and Swedish are the official languages. English is an important business language.

Religion: Lutheran 79.9%, Orthodox 1.1%, other 1.3% (17.7% have no religious affiliation)

Government: Following the parliamentary elections of March 2011 the new centre-right governing coalition is comprised of 19 ministerial posts held by the National Coalition Party (6), the Social Democratic Party (6), the Green League (2), Left Alliance (2), Christian Democrats (1), and the Swedish People’s Party (2).

Currency: euro (€, EUR) = 100 cents

GDP: 194,5 bn € (2012)

GDP per capita: at current market prices 35,928 € (2012)

GDP growth: -0.2% (2012)

Unemployment rate: 8.7% (January 2013)

Monthly wages: average 3,040 €; men 3,352 €, women 2,735 € (2010)

Main industrial products: Paper and board, electronics and metal products. Forests are still Finland's most crucial raw material resource, although the engineering and high technology industries, led by Nokia, have long been the leading branches of manufacturing.

Taxation: Corporation tax (24.5%) is uniform for all types of corporate income, including sales profits, interest income, dividends, royalties and rental income. Corporation tax is due to go down in 2014.

The general value added tax rate in Finland  is 24 %. The reduced tax rate of 14% is applied to food, restaurant and catering services and animal feed.

The reduced tax rate of 10% is applied to books, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, medicines, sports and exercise services, passenger transport, accommodation services, TV and broadcasting operation fees, cultural and entertainment events, sale of works of art by the artist, all importation of works of art and copyright royalties received by copyright organizations.

A zero tax rate is also in use (no taxes on sale, but sellers are reimbursed VAT on production input purchases). The tax rate is indicated as calculated from prices before taxes.


Business Parks

 

 

Lahti Cleantech Park

lahti 1

 

 

Four environmental sector universities, Finland's leading environmental technology park and Finland's largest environmental research laboratory are located in Lahti Cleantech Park.

The Park is a waterfront development situated on the shores of Lake Vesijärvi, just north of the Lahti city centre. The intention is to make the Park a leading European environmental technology cluster. Test marketing of the staging area was a success and the first office facility investment was made in the site in 2008.

The first phase is a construction of a 13 000 m² office complex, which will be expanded to approximately 30 000 m² with initiation of the phases that started in 2010. The Master Plan envisages plans for a 200 000 m², 70 Hectare office complex.


Kujala Logistic Centre - Gateway to Russia

 

Investment opportunity in fast developing logistic centre

Kujala is a planned logistics area, which will offer a comprehensive package of services and business premises. Kujala’s central location in the immediate vicinity of Highway No 4 (E75) and Highway No 12 ensures excellent connections to the rest of the country, especially southern Finland and the St. Petersburg region in Russia. The motorway system also connects the logistics centre to the country’s main port at Vuosaari. The city auxiliary services are close at hand and public transport is available at all times.

The total size of the site is 35 hectares which can be expanded up to 100 hectares. Lot sizes can be tailor made to specific individual requirements. Railroad connects deep into Russia, including Moscow.


Asko Business Centre - rapidly developing business centre in the heart of Lahti

Meeting point for Russian and European business

The Asko area is Renor’s largest site, housing a total of 127 000 m² of leased business premises and 185 enterprises. The property comprises the former Asko and Upo production plants, where industrial activities

ceased in the 1990s. The regeneration of the area has begun, and the site is being developed into a lively business complex. Renor is investing heavily in the area, for its location in the centre of Lahti and close to the railway station and other transport routes forms a solid basis for a success. The station at Asko area links it directly to the Helsinki metropolitan area, and passengers can get from Helsinki central railway station to the Asko area in about45 minutes.

The centre offers:

  • Excellent office space, production space and warehousing and logistics space.
  • Excellent central location – approximately 300m from the railway station and 1 km from the Lahti city centre.
  • Well-designed and flexible spaces designed to each individual client’s specification.
  • Plenty of parking. Lahti Top Investment Opportunity
  • Three restaurants, 2 gyms and 150 businesses operating in a variety of sectors.

 

Available operating and office space:                                    35,000 m²

 

Building rights, greenfield, (warehouse and factory plan):       250 000 m²

 

Leased operating space:                                                       127 000 m²

Leased office space:                                                             15 000 m²


 

Quality of Life

The Lahti Region is full of activities for both citizens and visitors. All different sports, nature activities, outdoor areas with skiing tracks, the many lakes in the area and comprehensive sports services provide the active individual with options all year long. If you just want to relax - go shopping, feel the breeze in your hair in lake cruises or relax in pampering treatment.

Regrettably cricket is not a major sporting pastime in Lahti.


 

Contacts

Lahti Development Company LADEC Ltd

Mikko Helenius

Business Development Manager

 +358 500 623 067

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www.ladec.fi