Finland flag Finland: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Finland

Foreign Trade in Figures

Finland is a highly industrialised country whose economy relies heavily on foreign trade, which represented 72% of its GDP in 2020 (World Bank – latest data available). In the same year, Finland mainly exported petroleum oils (6%), paper (5.4%) and motor cars (4.2%); importing crude oil (5%), cars (4.5%), petroleum oils (3%), parts of motor vehicles and medicaments (2.5% each). The forest industry is vital for the country’s economy: in 2020, the value of exported Finnish forest industry products totalled EUR 10.4 billion, covering 18% of the country’s exports of goods (-14% year-on-year in real terms - Natural Resources Institute Finland).

According to data by Comtrade, the main trading partners were Germany (13.5%), Sweden (10.4%), the U.S. (8.3%), the Netherlands (6.5%), and China (5.2%); while the country’s imports came chiefly from Germany (15.4%), Sweden (10.9%), Russia (9.8%), and China (9%).

Finland's trade balance had traditionally been positive in the past, but its performance deteriorated in the last decade, alternating slightly positive results with negative ones. In 2020, the total export of goods (at USD 66.2 billion, -9.9% y-o-y) almost matched the total value of imports (USD 68.1 billion, -7.5% y-o-y); whereas export of services stood at USD 28.8 billion against almost USD 31.7 billion of import (with an annual double-digit decrease of 18.6% and 14.8%, respectively - data by WTO). According to the latest figures from Statistics Finland, goods exports grew past pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021, but service exports did not; with the current account being EUR 2 billion in surplus as of Q3/2021.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 70,58678,62473,71668,13485,975
Exports of Goods (million USD) 68,07375,86973,46866,19281,971
Imports of Services (million USD) 31,01235,20037,23031,72735,696
Exports of Services (million USD) 29,72931,84335,42828,82232,935

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 70.975.178.279.572.0
Trade Balance (million USD) 491,6893252,532n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -3,058125-3,442829n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.74.35.72.3-6.5
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.98.81.56.8-6.8
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 36.137.539.739.735.8
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 34.837.538.539.836.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.91.42.92.92.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 2.71.42.83.83.0

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Finland is a member of the following international economic organisations: ICC, European Economic Area, WTO, European Union, G9, IMF, OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Finland click here. International organisation membership of Finland is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Finland can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Germany 13.2%
Sweden 10.2%
United States 6.6%
Netherlands 6.1%
Russia 5.4%
See More Countries 58.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
Germany 14.5%
Russia 11.7%
Sweden 11.5%
China 9.0%
Netherlands 4.5%
See More Countries 48.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

81.3 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.4%
Paper and paperboard, coated on one or both sides...Paper and paperboard, coated on one or both sides with kaolin "China clay" or other inorganic substances, with or without a binder, and with no other coating, whether or not surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or in square or rectangular sheets, of any size (excl. all other coated papers and paperboards) 4.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.1%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 3.7%
Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, of a...Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, of a width of >= 600 mm, hot-rolled or cold-rolled "cold-reduced" 3.7%
See More Products 78.1%
86.0 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.6%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.5%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 2.4%
See More Products 82.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

27.1 bn USD of services exported in 2020
45.99%
22.80%
11.23%
10.57%
4.67%
1.80%
1.10%
0.58%
0.52%
0.50%
0.24%
28.9 bn USD of services imported in 2020
45.01%
18.52%
15.94%
5.81%
3.80%
3.12%
2.97%
2.02%
1.41%
1.27%
0.14%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022