Kymenlaakso Region – Scenario work in the heart of building a new future

Kymenlaakso Region is located in South-East Finland next to Russian border. Russia is still an important neighbor – but now in a new and completely changed point of view. The recent crises of society are mainly caused by the ongoing war in Europe that Russia started. These crises have required an updating of scenarios and an analysis of their impacts on regional development. The most recent review was done on the effects of the Russia’s war against Ukraine. Impacts of the ongoing war are substantial. Especially logistics challenges and the importance of alternative routes increases in the Region with the biggest universal port in Finland. Other major impacts are sufficient energy supply to the Region with high industrialization and the end of Russian tourism. The Regional program outlining the development priorities is also under review because of the changed operating environment.

The recent review of the scenarios was done during summer and fall 2022. The following short-term impacts on Kymenlaakso were identified:

  1. Logistics challenges and possible disruption of maritime traffic. The importance of alternative routes increases when all logistic traffic to Russia ends.
  2. The world is threatened by a food crisis, and security of supply and food self-sufficiency will also become central priority in Finland.
  3. The prices of raw materials, fuels and energy will rise and their availability will decreas.
  4. The energy sector will be revolutionized on a fast schedule and the green transition will accelerate as the use of Russian fossil energy ends. New opportunities in energy production and storage to be exploited.
  5. In the education sector, new partners should be found and the skills shortage in key fields should be eased. The possible reconstruction of Ukraine opens opportunities for education exports.

Short-term necessary measures were recognised in the following fields:

VITALITY OF THE REGION

  • Ensuring the region's energy supply and self-sufficiency, utilizing the green transition, if necessary also adapting to lower energy availability 
  • Responding to raw material availability problems and price increases
  • Identifying opportunities for the reconstruction of Ukraine
  • Development of food self-sufficiency and local agriculture and food industry

ACCESSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Development of infrastructure (tracks, roads) and especially important in a situation where global logistics is in transition (VT 15 and development of the Kouvola - Kotka/Hamina rail connection). In infrastructure development, national defense and security of supply aspects should be brought to the fore.

WELL-BEING AND INVOLVEMENT

  • Responding to the weakened sense of security of residents and potential investors (corona, cyber security, threat caused by war)
  • Promoting the integration of immigrants and thereby also the availability of labor

Our scenario work is important and already a traditional part of the Regional Program work in Kymenlaakso Region, Finland. The previous comprehensive scenario review was completed in 2019 and three scenarios extending to 2040 were created. The Regional Program sets out the region’s vision for 2040 and outlines the development priorities, objectives and measures for 2022–2025.

More in english HERE!

 

Artikkeli julkaistaan 12.12.2022 Helsinki EU Officen kansainvälisessä uutiskirjeessä. Kymenlaakson liitto hyödyntää toimiston verkostoja ja kanavia toimimalla sen yhtenä sopimuskumppanina.

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