Significant strengths of the Mikkeli region are its forest resources and Finland’s long industrial history in the forest industry. South Savo is Finland’s most forested region and eastern Finland has the fastest forest growth in Europe. The region has a significant cluster of forest industries, which also attracts forest technology companies.
The forest industry directly employs 2,300 people in South Savo, which corresponds to 4.1% of the region’s employment. However, direct income from forestry accounts for 9% of the region’s economy and, taking into account the multiplier effects, accounts for 17% of the region’s total economy. In addition to the traditional forest industry, future fields of economy in Mikkeli include bioproduct production, bioenergy expertise and environmental technology.
Somewhat unexpectedly, Mikkeli also has strong security sector expertise. For example, Mikkeli is home to the Finnish Army Command and Information Management Unit. The South Savo Rescue Department is also a pioneer in developing national rescue work. Mipro Oy develops railway safety systems, while Environics Oy’s main products are CBRNe monitoring systems. Platom Oy focuses on process modeling, analysis, and life cycle services for nuclear facilities, while Profium Oy focuses on data monitoring, storage and discovery. There are also other security sector companies in the region.
Another strength of Mikkeli is its geographical location. Eastern Finland’s core traffic flows through Mikkeli both by road and along the railway line.
The region’s position as one of Finland’s leading leisure areas is also one of its strengths. Mikkeli is Finland’s second largest ‘cabin municipality’ with 10,349 holiday homes. The large number of holiday homes is reflected in the local scenery and the city’s purchasing power, especially during the summer
Relative to its size, Mikkeli has a large student population that provides an educated workforce and a solid foundation for increasing skills. Almost 10% of the city’s residents are students. Furthermore, it is studied that workforce commitment in Mikkeli is higher than national average.
City of Mikkeli is the southernmost city in Finland, where 40% EU regional development investment scheme is available. Comparing start-up costs for example new industrial operations, strong investment support significantly lowers the capital requirement for newly established operations.
Costs are in control in Mikkeli, as land values, rent costs and salary costs are lower compared to e.g. capital area in Finland. The cost of an office or production facilities in Mikkeli is sometimes only 40% of the cost in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
Mikkeli offers quality of life for employers and employees alike. Simple things, such as owning your own home debt-free, having a summer cabin by the lake and having leisure time for family and hobbies, are achievable in Mikkeli.