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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. My family consists of my wonderful wife Kirsi and our children Tommy, Aurora, Milena, Sami and our bordercollie Siiri. Our home is near Oulu in the Haukipudas region. Rovaniemi, where the other Consulate is located, is the Capital of Lapland and is situated approximately 200km North from Oulu. Over the years I have been fortunate to live and work for several years also in the UK and Switzerland.

I work at Lappset Group ltd in Rovaniemi and we are known globally as a leading manufacturer of playground equipment, outdoor sport equipment and solutions for Theme Parks and Amusement Parks worldwide. We are a private company with subsidiaries in 9 countries and distributors in additionally 56 countries around the world. We have been active also on the Danish market since the 1980’s.

The Consulate operates from Lappset Group’s head office in Rovaniemi and from my home in Oulu. Mrs. Sara Wagner-Prenner is helping me with day-to-day issues in the Consulate. A detail worth mentioning is that we also operate the consulates of Sweden and Iceland at Lappset’s head office.

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 207.000 inhabitants and is most known for being the heart of the ICT industry in Finland. In the past years, the Health technology industry has also paved the way for the continued growth of the region. The city is served by excellent flight and train connections. Oulu is also the home for the University of Oulu, the largest university in Northern Finland.

The City of Rovaniemi and the region of Lapland are best known to us Finns for being the real home of Santa Claus and the region where we go to ski in the winter season as well as to see the midnight sun in the summer. Rovaniemi is a lively and very international hub in the heart of Northern Finland. With some 64000 inhabitants Rovaniemi is 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 (during normal years)? 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 in 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

Photo of Johan Granholm