Beyond the crisis
Detailed description of the Good Practice
Kemi region is the industrial heart of Lapland. Its production makes almost 8% of the export value of Finland. The impact of the economic crisis has been strong inthe region due to the fact that the value of the trade and export world-wide dramatically dropped. The influence of the financial crisis has been significantly harsher here than in the area less dependent on the foreign trade. During the last 18 months we have lost several hundreds of jobs and 4500 persons have been temporarily forced to have extra leave without salary. The crisis has touched and threatened the well-being of almost 40 percent of the whole working population.
In the middle of crisis one cannot afford to wait and see what is going to happen in the near future or just to close the eyes and hope that the crisis will soon be over. It is clear that new ideas for recovery must be found. It is clear that the current development policies and strategies have to be re-thought. The present strategy and present situation of the city should be re-evaluated. All different kinds of crises can also be seen as a possibility to rethink the traditional model of developing the city and its economy.
Kemi has not been able to do much to minimize the negative effect of the crisis. It is a relatively small city with very limited resources. To keep up the economic activity the city has made a lot of extra investments. The renovation of the biggest primary school has been started to offer the best possible learning environment for children,
The port of Kemi will have a new northern railway connection to be able to serve better its customers. Altogether more than 15 million EUR worth investments for 2010 and 2011 have been launched to increase Kemi's competitiveness.
Even though the crisis has strongly shaken the city's economy and well-being, we have also been very lucky. Despite the fact that we have lost hundreds of permanent well paid jobs, so far no factories in the region have been closed down. The city has received some support from the national government. The state has been financing the building of the motorway going through the town that significantly helped the construction sector to cope through these difficult times.
Also, the city has been working hard with several mega size projects. There are plans to build a bio fuel plant, a nuclear power plant, large-scale extension of the port of Kemi for mining products to triple the export value, state of art facilities for tourism, other investment projects, etc..
Objectives of the Good Practice
to minimize the negative effect of the crisis
to realize a complex of actions to keep up economical activity of the city
Participants of the Good Practice
More Details of the Good Practice
Mr Jukka Vilén
City of Kemi
Phone: +358 404864101
Data sources and references
Baltic Cities Bulletin 2/2009