Business Finland

Giant Forest Industry Delegation from North America – Unprecedented Interest towards Finland

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Business Finland is organizing a historically comprehensive visit for the forest and wood products industry and the wood construction sector from the United States and Canada to Finland. Over 60 North Americans from nine states and Nova Scotia Canada participate the Finnish visit.

"For five days, the North Americans delegates are visiting Finnish industrial plants, research institutions, universities, and share about forestry, forest management, wood building and logging. The large group is touring industrial and forest sites in southern, central, western, and eastern Finland,” tells Ulla Lainio, Senior Advisor, Business Finland Washington D.C.

The purpose of the visit is to familiarize North Americans with Finland's forest expertise, forest policy, ways to reduce carbon dioxide, and the diverse operations of the forest industry. The delegates are particularly interested in forest machine manufacturers, equipment manufacturers related to wood construction, new innovative bio-products such as wood-textile fibers, wood-based building materials, CLT and LVL, fiber-based chemicals, biomass utilization, and biofuels.

The outcome everybody would like to see after this mission is collaboration in particular in smart forestry and forest health, wood construction and biomass sectors.

Climate change drives US choices

Generally, forests in the United States have been underutilized because of cheap fossil energy. There is also a lot of hydropower.

“During President Biden's term, the administration has once again taken action to combat climate change, and the government is investing in biofuels, biomass utilization, forest fire prevention, and technology and expertise related to forest management. The new Inflation Reduction Act includes grants and tax incentives for the forestry sector and biofuels,” Lainio says.

In North America, wooden house building is very common, and there is a high demand for suppliers of wood construction equipment, prefabricated house solutions, building elements, and CLT and LVL production lines. Several CLT factory investments related to wooden house construction are underway in various states. Wooden house construction aims to alleviate housing shortages, and North Americans seek efficient construction solutions that are quick to assemble. Carbon neutrality is of interest.

Looking for partners in Finland

Finland and Sweden are considered the world's leading forest bioeconomy countries. The delegation  visiting Finland is looking for partners in both industry and research who can help in the renewal and diversification of the forestry sector.

“The forest policy is now favorable for reforms, and there is an unprecedent ed interest towards Finland. The collaboration and mutual business opportunity for Finland's and North American forest industry is significant,” emphasizes Outi Suomi, Circular transition for Zero Waste Mission Lead, Business Finland.

During the trip, the delegation will visit the following companies and research institutions or meet with their representatives: Koskisen, Veisto, VTT, Pinomatic, UPM, Stora Enso, Metsä Group,  Ponsse, University of Eastern Finland, John  Deere, Business Joensuu, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Kira Hub and Aalto University.  In addition, the delegation will meet with over 25 forest sector companies with new innovative wood-based products, the latest in wood construction, or solutions for fighting forest fires.

The participants represent nine states: Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Nova Scotia Canada. They include the states' top officials responsible for forest use, as well as the leading research universities and a large number of industry representatives. The industry delegation includes sawmills, major forestry companies, forest owners, logging companies, wood architecture and construction firms, and investors. Finland has a MoU cooperation agreement on forest bioeconomy with the first four mentioned states.

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Contacts

Ulla Lainio, Senior Advisor m Business Finland Washington DC
ulla.lainio@businessfinland.fi
Tel. +358 40 3433357

Sanna Nuutila, Head of Marketing
sanna.nuutila@businessfinlan.fi
Tel. +358 50 557 7717

Images

Ulla Lainio
Ulla Lainio
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Forest management activities  in Washington State
Forest management activities in Washington State
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Business Finland is the Finnish government organization that provides innovation funding and internationalization services, promotes travel and investments, and attracts talents to Finland. Business Finland’s over 760 experts work in 37 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network. www.businessfinland.com 

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