Growth in trade between Finland and France has been greatly hampered by the economic crisis. Our exports, currently worth some €1.7 billion annually, remain at the same level, by value, as in 2003 or 2004. Finland’s exports to France, which peaked in 2006 at €3.5 billion, are currently running at around €2 billion annually, below the level of a decade ago. The balance of trade, historically weighted in Finland’s favour, has shifted back somewhat since 2009 and France’s trade deficit has fallen sharply, from €812 million in 2007 to €345 million in 2011. France’s ranking as a supplier to Finland has oscillated between 7th place (2008, 2011) and 6th (2009, 2010). The share of Finnish exports going to France fell slightly from 3.4% in 2007 to 3.1% in 2011. France has slipped from being Finland’s 7th largest export market in 2007 and 2008 to 8th place from 2009 onwards.
Over the first half of 2012, France’s exports to Finland fell by 3.1% and imports by 8.4%. The downturn in exports reflects the timing of deliveries of aircraft or, more recently, of equipment for the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. Cars make up the single biggest export category, but the market share of French marques has declined from 15.8% in 2005 to just 7.7% today. The downturn in Finland’s exports to France is due in large part to shrinking sales of telecommunications equipment and products for the wood processing industry. The impact of Finnish carrier Finnair’s 2007 order for 11 Airbus A 350 aircraft (plus 4 options) will not be felt until after 2014, given the delays to the programme.
Updated on 06.12.12