Joensuu area and the entire North Karelia has developed strong expertise related to Russia over the decades. The strengths of the cooperation are related to sustainable use and further processing of natural resources, technological and research cooperation, as well as the development of tourism.

Experts in Russia-related knowledge for companies

North Karelia is home to approximately 3000 native Russian speakers. Almost a thousand of them live in Joensuu. It is no wonder that you can hear Russian in the city every day. People who have moved to the area from Russia and possibly studied here, have diverse Russia-related expertise and capacities to develop companies’ business operations in Russia.

VERA centre

VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies promotes expertise related to the borders, border area and Russia at the University of Eastern Finland. VERA Centre works in close cooperation with various international, national and regional operators, and supports shared development and project activities.

More international commerce

Barents Cooperation offers opportunities for stronger cooperation between the area and Russia, as well as Sweden and Norway. The purpose of stronger cooperation is to promote companies’ internationalisation and foreign trade, increase collaboration in tourism and develop transport connections.

Fourth largest export country

Russians are, by far, the largest tourist group in the region. They spend tens of millions of euros annually on North Karelian products and services.

In 2017, the export value of North Karelian companies to Russia was 142.4 million euros. Over 70% of export consisted of products of the metal industry. Russia is the fourth largest export country in the region. The top four export countries were Sweden, Germany and China.

Networks of Russia-related expertise and cooperation:

Euregio Karelia

Barents Region Council and Committee and working groups

Association of European Border Regions AEBR

Association for Borderlands Studies ABS

Regional Council of North Karelia