The Joensuu region is a global leader in forest bioeconomy. Approximately 83% of the entire area of North Karelia is covered by forest. This provides an excellent opportunity for the utilisation of raw material. The region has top expertise in the sustainable use of forests, and special competence areas include new technologies, digitalisation of forestry, collection of forest information and management of forest resources. This is made possible by the expertise that has been gained through various research, development and business initiatives. Read more about forest bioeconomy

The metal industry in the Joensuu region serves, for example, the world’s largest forest machine factory, and a top-notch subcontracting network has evolved around it. The network can produce all kinds of products from the design to assembled and tested final product. On the other hand, the plastic industry offers highly developed health care products as well as composite products and injection moulds.  The plastic industry is growing rapidly in the Joensuu region, and expertise can be found both for the design and the manufacture of moulds and end products. Read more about the metal and plastic industry

Joensuu has more than 50 years of experience in photonics. Joensuu is home to Finland’s largest Institute of Photonics and a unique operating environment for photonics, Photonics Center, which provides companies with centralised equipment, experts and networks. Local top expertise in the forest bioeconomy sector, broad business activities, ICT expertise as well as metal and plastic industries offer unique application opportunities for photonics. The region’s core competence includes, in particular, AR and VR technologies, 3D printing and the applications of diffractive and modern optics. Read more about the photonics expertise in Joensuu

The Joensuu region has a particularly strong ICT network with international companies and future top experts. As a pioneer of the industry, the business sector focuses on areas such as remote sensing of natural resources, international software business, care management systems for health and social care, innovations in the industrial internet and the advanced development of ICT environments. Hundreds of ICT professionals and experts graduate in the region every year. Read more about the ICT network in the Joensuu region


Top experts available


Joensuu is the sixth most important urban area in Finland. The region offers versatile higher education and top cooperation between companies and educational institutions. The vibrant and youthful university city is actively creating a labour market for educated people. Traditionally, the working careers in the region are long and the employees are highly engaged to their jobs. The labour cost level in Joensuu is highly competitive compared to the rest of Finland.

According to statistics, every third person living in Joensuu is under 30 years old. Young people are attracted to the city especially by the University of Eastern FinlandKarelia University of Applied Sciences and Riveria vocational school. Thanks to its young residents, the city of Joensuu has a fresh, enthusiastic and open atmosphere.

Read more about the top expertise in the Joensuu region


Joensuu is the most entrepreneurial region in Finland

Business Joensuu offers its expertise and network to companies relocating in the area. We make relocation quick and easy, and our services are designed to help your business grow.

Read more about the relocation services of Business Joensuu


Take advantage of the local funds and subsidies

We assist you with questions related to business funding at all stages of your business activities. We can help you with planning, applying for funding and submitting applications.

Business Joensuu Start Up Fund helps startup companies relocating in the Joensuu region to grow, employ people and become international. Together with the Business Joensuu’s Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The main focus of the Fund is on business activities related to digitalisation, forest bioeconomy and materials as well as innovative technology.

North Karelia Growth Fund invests in newly established young enterprises, especially in the fields of digitalisation, forestry and bioeconomy, photonics and materials science as well as tourism and creative industries.

Read more about the funding opportunities


A gateway from the east to the west

Joensuu is easy to enter. As an international and growing business city, good transport connections to Joensuu and abroad are vital. Joensuu Airport is the arrival and departure gate for business travellers. There are daily flights from Helsinki to Joensuu, and the flight schedule has been optimised for international connections. You can view and book flights here.

North Karelia’s infrastructure is excellent for transporting heavy industry cargo. Freight can be transported on public roads, by rail or by inland waterways in Saimaa. The Karelian railway connects the region to Russia and all the way to China. The deepwater port next to the centre of Joensuu has excellent conditions to serve as a hub for the transport chains of different modes of transport. Increasing the draught of the Saimaa Canal will enable vessels with a capacity of 3,200 tonnes to operate to the port of Joensuu by 2024. The journey from Joensuu to major European ports takes about 4–5 days.

Read more about the connections from Joensuu to abroad


North Karelia in brief

North Karelia is known for its national landscape in Koli, but also for its industrial products, photonics expertise and education: