Timo Rautajoki Chinese investments
Photo by: Timo Rautajoki

President and CEO of Lapland Chamber of Commerce Timo Rautajoki

According to Timo Rautajoki, the president and CEO of Lapland Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese investments announced so far are just the beginning. He is talking about the overall situation of the Chinese investments in Lapland.

Timo Rautajoki, president and CEO of Lapland Chamber of Commerce, termed the situation of Chinese investments in Lapland as very promising.

– But it’s only starting. These are big projects, that take time to take off, like the bioproduct plants. Tourism is going to be a really big industry for Chinese in Lapland. We have witnessed an almost unbelievable growth of Chinese tourists, and it seems to be growing all the time. There are two big hotel projects in Lapland, one is at the Arctic Circle near the Santa Village in Rovaniemi, and the other one is at Saariselkä. More hotels are needed to accommodate the increasing number of tourists and space to hold events. We are expecting airlines from China, and our national flag carrier Finnair has plans to have direct flights from Rovaniemi to China.

Speaking on potential investments, the CEO of Lapland Chamber of Commerce said,

– The next investment that we are expecting and looking forward to is the ‘one belt, one road’ initiative, the new silk road project, which is moving closer and closer. The Chinese are also interested in the Arctic railway, and I am happy that our Minister of Transport and Communications will be attending the transport seminar in Rovaniemi this November. The construction of the Arctic railway from Rovaniemi to Kirkenes is estimated to cost about 3 billion euros. There is also incoming cooperation with the Chinese in preparation for their hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics, in which case Chinese athletes may receive ski jumping training here in Lapland. So far, the Chinese have invested about 50 million euros in Lapland, but overall their planned investments are estimated to be more than 2 billion euros.