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20.4.2012

The metals cluster offers growth and jobs – can we take up the challenge?


The metals sector supply chain has enormous growth potential. It is being driven by cutting-edge innovations, the growth in demand for metals and the rise of the extractive resources industry in Finland. However, its potential cannot be realised if the sector’s competitiveness is weakened by excessive costs and taxes before it even starts to grow.

 

“The metals industry supply chain, from the mining of ore to the finished product, offers Finland unprecedented opportunities, as long as the potential is not prematurely killed by excessive costs,” said Mika Nykänen,  the Managing Director of the Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers, at the Metallienjalostuspäivät gathering at the University Consortium of Pori today. 

 

“The refining of metals in Finland is an ecological act which is based on high expertise. Sector innovations have created the world’s best energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. There is every reason to promote the growth of this kind of industry in Finland by all available means. In the current atmosphere of crisis, what is expected of government circles is decisive steps towards attracting new investment and jobs, rather than the imposition of additional burdens and taxes. Or do they think at the Ministry of the Environment that new taxes will create jobs and welfare?”, asks Mr Nykänen.

 

In addition to the Ministry of the Environment’s proposed mining tax, in the near future the competitiveness of the export industry will be threatened by other cost-raising factors, such as emissions trading, the Sulphur Directive and the windfall tax. 

 

The metals cluster could create new jobs and growth in Finland right now, in a situation where the country’s balance of trade and payments has weakened dramatically. The greatest benefit to Finnish society will be achieved if we succeed in keeping the entire supply chain within Finland. Metal refining currently accounts for around 14 percent of Finnish goods exports.
 
“The core strength of the sector is the high-level of Finnish expertise still being developed at universities and research institutes. The accumulation of this national resource as part of a growth sector is a long-term investment that will produce both qualitative and quantifiable welfare,” said Mr Nykänen.

 

The purpose of the biannually arranged Metallienjalsotuspäivät, is to function as a gathering for industry, universities, research institutes and other interest groups in the sector where topical questions and the outlook for the future are discussed particularly from the perspective of teaching and research. The theme of Metallienjalsotuspäivät, held 19-20 April 2012 in Pori and Harjavalta, is the growth potential of the metals industry; the host company is Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy.

 

Additional information:
Mika Nykänen, tel. 040 825 7329
firstname.surname@teknologiateollisuus.fi

 


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