Foreign trade in national accounts

Updated: 12 Jul 2018
Next update: 31 Jan 2019

Exports of goods and services consist of transactions in goods and services (sales, barter, gifts or grants) from residents to non-residents.

Imports of goods and services consist of transactions in goods and services (purchases, barter, gifts or grants) from non-residents to residents.

The development of foreign trade has a key influence on national economic conditions and on the balance of general government finances. Foreign trade, moreover, forms a significant part of Finland’s GDP. In addition to growth of the economy and trade, the development of foreign trade measures at the same time the competitiveness of Finland’s industry and business sector operating conditions and their attractiveness for the investments of international companies.

Foreign trade is affected by, among other things, global economic trends, fluctuations in aggregate demand, the general trend of prices, the competitiveness of the national tax system, and legislation regulating international trade. National room for manoeuvre in international markets and the ability to control the development of trade have declined dramatically in recent years. Due to altered economic conditions, internationalisation of markets, EU integration and membership of the Economic and Monetary Union, national economic policy will be increasingly influenced in future by industrial policy measures.

The volume of exports increased by 7.5 per cent in 2017 and that of imports grew by 3.5 per cent. Import prices rose by more than export prices, both imports and exports increased measured at current prices. The export of goods increased more than the import of goods. The export of services increased clearly more than imports, service exports were still around EUR one billion lower than imports. The share of exports of gross domestic product increased to 38.5 per cent and the share of imports to 38.2 per cent.