The report contains 16 proposals for ways in which the Nordic Region can become more attractive as a region for investment in start-up and growth companies. It has been written by Idar Kreutzer, Managing Director of Finance Norway, commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
In his report, Kreutzer proposes measures that will encourage interest among institutional investors such as pension funds to finance start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
He also proposes regular reviews of Nordic tax rules, both by way of comparison between the Nordic countries and to examine them in relation to competing regions around the world.
Kreutzer calls for the harmonisation of the tax rules in the Nordic countries with the aim of stimulating the interest of private financiers to invest in the region. He also wants the Nordic prime ministers to clearly state their shared political ambition to create a world-leading Nordic ecosystem for innovation.
The Nordic Region is more attractive as a single unit
In the report, Kreutzer states that the Nordic Region is significantly more attractive to financiers as a single unit than any one Nordic country. If the Nordic countries are to compete with other, similar regions they must focus more heavily on integration.
“For international venture capital, the Nordic countries are small when taken individually. But together, we are one of the most attractive regions in the world. So let’s make this region suitable for venture capital, too,” says Kreutzer, who bases his proposals on more than 60 interviews with Nordic and international stakeholders in industry.
For international venture capital, the Nordic countries are small when taken individually. But together, we are one of the most attractive regions in the world. So let’s make this region suitable for venture capital, too.
In the report, Kreutzer specifically identifies two problem areas. One is that start-up companies have difficulty obtaining funding during the actual growth phase, and the other is that companies in sectors such as healthtech, cleantech, and biotech find it harder to attract financiers than others.
“The Nordic governments can address these challenges together through stronger co-operation. It will require measures to attract private smart capital, and targeted initiatives in individual sectors,” says Kreutzer.
Report sent for further deliberation
Idar Kreutzer submitted his report to the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation on 30 October. The idea is that it will provide Nordic politicians with a basis for further discussion and decisions that may lead to strengthened Nordic co-operation in this sector, and ultimately create a region that is even more attractive to investors than it is today.
“It’s vital that our companies have access to funding in their start-up and growth phases. These are often high-tech, innovative companies, many of which play an important role in our ambition to create more jobs and a more sustainable future. Now it’s up to us politicians to work on the proposals in the report,” says Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who is chairing the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation in 2018.
In global comparisons, the Nordic Region already ranks highly in terms of innovation. This report demonstrates that we can be even better if we only realise the value of closer Nordic co-operation.
Report hits the mark
Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten has welcomed the report, saying that it hits the mark at a time as we are seeing start-up and growth companies becoming increasingly important in our societies.
“In global comparisons, the Nordic Region already ranks highly in terms of innovation. This report demonstrates that we can be even better if we only realise the value of closer Nordic co-operation. Common challenges and global competition are putting pressure on the Nordic countries. We should take this seriously and leverage the great potential for increasing the region’s competitiveness,” says Høybråten.