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Johan Granholm Rovaniemi/Uleåborg

Northern Finland - above ordinary

Dear friends,

My name is Johan Granholm and I am the honorary consul of Denmark in the regions of Lapland and Northern Ostrobothnia, also known as Pohjois-Pohjanmaa in Finnish. I am 53 years old and my family consist of my wonderful wife Kirsi and our children Tommy (12), Aurora, (16), Milena (20) and Sami (21). Our home is near Oulu but both my wife and I work in Rovaniemi near the Arctic Circle, where we have a second home. Rovaniemi is the Capital of Lapland and is situated approximately 200 km North from Oulu. Before relocating to Rovaniemi some 10 years ago I lived and worked in the UK for 4 years and for nearly a year in Switzerland.

I work at Lappset Group ltd in Rovaniemi and I am in charge of the Group’s Theme Parks business. Our company manufactures playgrounds, outdoor sport equipment and solutions for Theme Parks and Amusement Parks worldwide. We are a private company with subsidiaries in 6 European countries and distributors in additionally 45 countries around the world.

Johan Granholm

The Consulate operates from Lappset Group’s head office in Rovaniemi and from Pakkahuone advertising agency in Oulu. Ms Eveliina Salmivuori is helping me in day to day operations in the Consulate.

Our region, I dare to say, is very different from the rest of Finland. Let me introduce you briefly to the main hubs in Northern Finland. The City of Oulu, or Uleåborg in Swedish, is also known as the Capital of Northern Scandinavia. It is the home of around 190.000 inhabitants and is most known for being the heart of the ICT industry in Finland. Since Nokia and later Microsoft left the region a few years ago, Oulu has again seen a prosperous rise of new companies within the ICT sector and Health technology. The city is served by excellent flight and train connections. Oulu is also the home of the University of Oulu, the largest university in Northern Finland.

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The City of Rovaniemi and the region of Lapland are best known to us Finns from being the real home of Santa Claus and the region where we go skiing in the winter season and see the midnight sun in the summer. Rovaniemi is a lively and very international hub in the heart of Northern Finland. With some 60.000 inhabitants Rovaniemi is actually one of the most international cities in Finland. Did you know that the airports in Lapland (Rovaniemi, Kittilä and Enontekiö) have more than 400 leisure flights from all around the world during December and early January? Additionally both Rovaniemi and Kittilä have several daily regular flights to and from Helsinki. Hence, it is easy to understand that the travel industry brings in a large share of the GDP in this region. The University of Lapland (Rovaniemi) educates most of the law students in our country.

Both areas offer good business opportunities for Danish companies. There are already several Danish companies who have established themselves in this region. The main investments in both Oulu and Rovaniemi regions in the coming years are within the wind power, mining, steel, paper mill and nuclear power sectors. The cities of Tornio and Kemi are the hubs for the paper industry and steel industry in our region.

I also recommend this region warmly to tourists who want to experience something unique, something above ordinary.

More info on: www.oulu.fi and http://international.rovaniemi.fi/en

Welcome to Northern Finland, Johan