Chinese companies' experience of Helsinki as a business environment for their Foreign Direct Investment operations

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Corporate Communication
82 + 1
This thesis focuses solely on researching Chinese foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Finland. The main objective of the thesis is finding out how Chinese companies experience Finland as a business environment for their FDI operations. The literature review of this thesis is focusing on special characteristics and needs of Chinese FDIs, and Finland as a host country for them, however the research material is gathered among the Chinese companies who operates only in Helsinki region, capital of Finland. This is due to the fact that this research is executed as a case study for Helsinki Business Hub, regional development agency which facilitates foreign investments in Helsinki region. Motivation for researching this topic and conducting this study has risen from acknowledging an existing research gap, as there is no existing academic material due to date about Finland as a host country for Chinese FDIs. This way, the thesis takes part in the discussion of following academic research themes: determinants of choosing the host country for FDI projects, motives of hosting FDIs, and global cities’ new rising competition over landing FDI projects. The academic framework is the main theories of FDIs, and understanding profoundly current economic situation in China and its role as a global actor as a world’s second largest economy. The number of Chinese FDI projects is constantly increasing in a global scale, strengthening its role as world’s second largest economy. To investigate the topic profoundly the research was conducted in form of in-depth interview among ten Chinese companies operating in Helsinki region. The data was collected in a qualitative matter and analyzed utilizing coding scheme. The findings of this study indicate that the strengths of Helsinki as a business environment for Chinese FDIs are its booming startup scene, cutting-edge technologies and R&D opportunities, highly-skilled engineers, great geographical location and connections between Europe and Asia. Instead, its weaknesses are very difficult language, different mindset in business life, slowness in officialities and decision-making in business, small market size and somewhat unsatisfactory after-work life of Chinese expatriates in Finland. This thesis provides new information to the topic by offering an insights of specific motives to establish business unit in Helsinki region, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the region as a business environment from the perspective of Chinese FDIs and how the region could be develop to attract Chinese FDIs project even more in the future.
Thesis advisor
Eräranta, Kirsi
foreign direct investments, global cities, host country, China, Chinese MNEs, Finland
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