A word about the philosophy of growth

The Central Finland region has grown and developed at an amazing pace over the years. There is a positive atmosphere in the Jyväskylä area and the entire region at the moment, and although there are challenges to be found across the region, each area also has its own strengths.

There is no single top industry in Central Finland, as the business eld of the region consists of many actors in various sectors. This should not be seen as a weakness – on the contrary. We Central Finnish people should be proud of our extremely broad and diverse know-how!

In this 100-year anniversary jubilee book, called The Region of Growth, we want to highlight the stories of notable operators in Central Finland and celebrate the success of the region. The stories of companies, educational institutions and municipal actors intertwine and provide the reader with a fantastic overview of the active network operating in Central Finland.


The Chamber of Commerce is its members

The Central Finland Chamber of Commerce, which has operated as an independent chamber of commerce since 1930, has had a significant impact on the development of Central Finland. It has worked determinedly to support the entire company field in Central Finland, and the results are now reflected in the region's exceptional growth. The driving force behind the Chamber of Commerce is a network comprised of member companies that looks boldly to the future and creates new, successful ways of doing business.

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Jämsä has its Eyes on the Future

Jämsek Oy is the development company of the town of Jämsä that engages locally in development, networking and advocacy to promote the prerequisites of success for companies in Jämsä. The business and relocation services help companies find suitable premises, assist in sourcing personnel and search for suitable partners. Various corporate events are organized annually to support growth, development and local vitality.

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SSYP kehitys Oy in Saarijärvi wants to support the entrepreneurs from day one

SSYP KEHITYS OY Is a partner to the companies of Saarijärvi that helps beginning entrepreneurs, supports the development of companies and promotes local expertise. The development company wants to help entrepreneurs from the beginning and to support local businesses to develop their operations both domestically and internationally. ​

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Karstulanseutu Oy developing the region of Karstula, larger than its size

​THE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY KARSTULANSEUTU OY promotes the business sec- tor and its operational environment in the 150-year-old municipality of Karstula by pro- viding services to companies from all elds of industry throughout their lifecycles. In addition to providing advisory services to businesses, the development company is also
in charge of developing the operational environment of the municipality, the vitality services and tourism marketing.

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Keulink Oy - a development partner throughout the life of your company

ESTABLISHED IN 1998, Keulink Oy is a regional development company owned by the town of Keuruu, the municipality of Multia, more than 20 local businesses and Keurusseudun Yrittäjät ry. The company’s professional sta works to promote growth, employment, business operations and cooperation. The operation is based on the local commercial and industrial life’s needs, which the development company surveys actively.

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World-class opportunities in Äänekoski - the bridge between the town and the countryside

ESTABLISHED IN 2003, Ääneseudun Kehitys Oy was known as the joint development company of Äänekoski and Konnevesi until the end of 2016. Since the beginning of 2017, the company is owned by the town of Äänekoski and opera- tions have been partially transferred under the town’s viability department. The development company is now in charge of managing various development projects.​

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Witas Oy is built on cooperation - the company also has resources to handle big and difficult issues

FOR 13 YEARS, Witas Oy has worked for the bene t of the companies operating in Kinnula, Kivijärvi, Pihtipudas and Viitasaari. The development company established in 2004 by these municipalities serves current and future entrepreneurs of the northern Central Finland throughout the lifecycle of their companies. ​

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The developer of the region is building active cooperation networks in Central Finland

​The Regional Council of Central Finland is a joint municipal authority in charge of regional development. It aims to create agile, nonhierarchical networks between companies and other regional stakeholders. Networks and cooperation foster successful, renewable and international entrepreneurship, which is vital for Central Finland.

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The developer of the region is building active cooperation networks in Central Finland

The Regional Council of Central Finland is a joint municipal authority in charge of regional development. It aims to create agile, nonhierarchical networks between companies and other regional stakeholders. Networks and cooperation foster successful, renewable and international entrepreneurship, which is vital for Central Finland. ​

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Success of the region also means success for the Keskimaa Cooperative Societ

​Keskimaa Cooperative Society is the largest company in Central Finland, providing services in more than 100 places of business. The operation of Keskimaa is de ned by a desire to act for the bene t of the customer-owners and to create welfare throughout the whole region. In addition to retail, the cooperative society also actively supports various associations and projects that promote youth activities in Central Finland.

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OP Keski-Suomi lives and breathes the air of Central Finland

As Central Finland grows, OP grows with it. Since it was established, the local bank has been an in uential nancier in building the region, and the nancing, deposits and investments of the bank’s customers in Central Finland currently total nearly 5 billion euros. Keys to success have included the creation of banking services to match the needs of the customers and collaborative operations, also regarding the decision-making.

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Rautpohja - a global home for paper and board machines

Valmet’s factory in Rautpohja, in the city of Jyväskylä, has been a familiar
sight for many of the city’s residents for almost 80 years. Few people know, however, that the Rautpohja factory is the only place in the world that designs and produces some of the main components for Valmet board and paper machines, such as headboxes and special rolls. 40% of the world’s paper is produced using Valmet’s machines, and most of the machines have some parts that have been manufactured in Jyväskylä. Valmet is a unique combination of process technology, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries all over the world.

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Increasing attractiveness is the ELY Center's number one priorit

PEOPLE OFTEN SPEAK of public authorities only in a negative way. When things are not going well, people remember to mention it, but when everything is running smoothly, no one seems willing to bring the issue up. The situation is different in Central Finland, however. When Pasi Patrikainen started as Director General of the Central Finland ELY Center, he decided to be a leader for change and also prove it with his actions.​

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A strong regional newspaper supports the growth of the region

Keskisuomalainen Oyj is best known as a newspaper publisher, but it has grown from a regional newspaper into a national media company. The successful group wants to support ordinary citizens and promote the well-being of the region.​

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World-class desing from Suolahti

Valtra from Suolahti is the leading manufacturer of agricultural tractors in the Nordic countries. Valtra’s tractor design has won several awards, and the tractors have even been on display at the Cannes Film Festival. Valtra has been the most popular brand of tractors in the Nordic countries since the 1980s. The tractors combine superb engineering expertise with fantastic design, and they have been selected as the best in the world for the past three years in a row.

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Hundreds of events cutting edge technology and historical sites - this is Jämsä

Hundreds of different events are organized in the Jämsä region, and they bring more than a hundred thousand tourists to the area every year. The strong forest industry and the top expertise in the aviation industry have made Jämsä known for decades. Historical sites can also be found along the city’s waterways, and Jämsä was a historical trading hub even before the era of industrialization.​

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Himos is growing year by year

Himos Holiday, the largest provider of accommodation and event services in the southern part of Finland, has been developing the Himos area since 1989. The area has become a popular tourist destination thanks to persistent work done over the years, with about 340,000 customers using the region’s services every year.

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Support for growth companies and solutions for private customers

Nordea is a Nordic banking group that offers versatile banking services and serves its customers locally also in Jyväskylä. Even though the group operates also in Sweden, Norway and Denmark in addition to Finland, Nordea has an established customer base
in Central Finland despite the tough competition in the banking sector.

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Cellulose insoling material for the global shoe indstry's needs

One person wears out scores of shoes during their lifetime. Few people know, however, what regular walking shoes are actually made of. Hikinoro Oy, located in Vaajakoski, is a purely domestic export company that delivers pulp-based cardboard material all over the world for the production of shoes’ inner structures.

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Veteran of the earthmoving industry placed occupational well-being and environment values first during generational change

The earthmoving company Kaivinkone ja Maansiirto Rikamat Oy recently carried out its second generational change from father to son. The company’s operating models were also boldly modernized during the change.​

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A pioneer of clean indoor air

Did you know that the poor quality of indoor air is one of the most significant factors
contributing to allergies? People consume 15,000 liters of air per person each day, and as we
nowadays spend a lot of time indoors, clean indoor air is extremely important.

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Creating delicios sensations – Elonen has been baking delicious pastries for consumers' everyday and festive occasions for 50 years

During its over 50-year history, the Elonen bakery has seen numerous social changes. Working methods and equipment are both completely different now than in 1966 when the bakery was founded. Although the tricks and practices have changed and the product range has become more diverse, one thing still remains the same – only the best result is good enough.

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On the road with the customer

Kuljetusliike Taipale Oy is a family business from Jyväskylä that specializes in the transportation of groupage and temperature-controlled goods. It is part of Finland's leading private transport system, Kaukokiito. Taipale transports goods all over Finland according to the customer's wishes. Over the years, Taipale has managed to establish long-standing customer relations with major food suppliers and wholesalers.

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HB-Betoniteollisuus builds growth by investing in the future

HB-Betoniteollisuus' products can be seen all around the Central Finnish townscape, both in the yards of private houses and in large infrastructure projects, such as at the construction site of the new central hospital.​​​​​​​

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Unique printing community creates synergy benefits for companies and customers alike

One of Finland’s most impressive printing houses can be found amidst the beautiful rural landscape of Keuruu. The nationally significant cultural environment, built by Otava in the early 1950s, is home to five family businesses that make up a unique book printing community.

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Logging is work that cannot be transferred abroad

Everything in the forest industry starts from the forest, and the future is looking bright for the
logging industry. Metsä-Multia Oy, a company providing comprehensive logging services, has increased its capacity nearly tenfold in fifteen years, and the award-winning company believes that new wood industry investments will bring more opportunities for growth.

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Back to the nature​​​​​​​

Naava is a company specialized in the natural purification of indoor air. The company enhances the nature’s own mechanisms with the use of technology. Naava’s goal is to create a natural habitat for people indoors. The company was born amidst the beautiful scenery of Central Finland, and it has spread its roots around the world with the help of crowdfunding, for example.

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Changing the world through leadership​​​​​​​

A humble but ambitious attitude is the key in business life. Nordic Business Forum, which has its roots in Jyväskylä, has been growing steadily for ten years, and the event is already pursuing the title of the world's leading business life conference.

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Valio Oy's dairy in Jyväskylä

The decline in the consumption of milk has been a growing trend as new eating habits revolutionize the food market. Despite this, Valio Oy's dairy in the city of Jyväskylä has more than doubled its production in the 21st century. The dairy has a long history in Jyväskylä, and this small processor of dairy products has grown into a pioneer in the field of special milks, and the dairy exports its products to all over Finland and some of the Nordic countries.

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The company that reinvented the wheel

Sleipner Finland Oy from Jyväskylä is a company that came up with a really unique innovation: a transportation system for mining machines. The fast-growing company's equipment are used in limestone mines in Central Europe, in Australia's hot drylands, on the Andean Mountains, as well in the tropics of Central Africa.

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Using Science to Reach the Top in Elite Sport

The Research Institute for Olympic Sports KIHU has engaged in research to benefit Finnish
sports since 1991 and is now the leading center for applied sports research in Finland. The small size of our country has introduced its own share of challenges to our success, but that which cannot be acquired through quantity, can be made up by inventiveness and creativity. Along the way, KIHU has produced several sports-related inventions from alpine huts to javelin cannons and carried out important research regarding the healthcare of athletes.

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From Steel Drums to a Market Leader in Road Maintenance

Arctic Machine Oy is a family-owned company that invests in Finnish quality. Established in
1981, the company has rapidly grown into an international success story. Currently, the company’s equipment is used to maintain roads in more than nine countries and in Finland it is the market leader in its field.

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Technology that teaches us humanity

According to Joni Kettunen, Firstbeat’s CEO and founding member, heart rate variability
tracking opens a door to whole new insights on the body’s performance. Over the past 15 years, the company from Jyväskylä that brought heart rate variability analysis to the market has grown into a world-class success, and its technology can be found in devices from brands such as Samsung, Garmin and Suunto.

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Understanding the needs of the customer as an asset

Komas Oy, founded in 2002, increased its turnover 20-fold and its staff 12-fold during its first six years. The company, which has received recognition from the Regional Organization of Enterprises in Central Finland, has its roots in the defense equipment industry, and the company's history dates back to 1925, from Valmet and Patria to the Jyväskylä Rifle Factory. Komas was quick to grow both in Finland and abroad, and the company returned to Jyväskylä in 2013 and has now established a strong regional presence in Central Finland, Ostrobothnia and Sastamala.

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Smart investments are the key to a spa hotel's success

In 1974, a pool and sports dome was built on the shore of Lake Peurunkajärvi, where an old
children's home used to stand. The past of Peurunka, which was built by war veterans, has been eventful, but the spa hotel has undergone its biggest changes in the 21st century. 35 million euros have been invested in Peurunka after 2006, and the spa hotel has grown into a vibrant tourist center.

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Innovative solutions for every home

Pisla Group Oy, a company focusing on construction and furnishing, serves hardware
stores and department stores in Finland and abroad. In addition to small hardware products, the company's range of products also includes items for the bathroom, sauna, fireplaces and windows, for example. A diverse product selection and security of supply have made the company from Viitasaari one of the leading players in its field in the entire Baltic Sea region.

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The Best of Rescue Vehicles

Saurus Oy is a well-respected designer and manufacturer of fire and rescue vehicles.
Rescuers around the world use the vehicles built in Central Finland to do their jobs every day.

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Domestic bioenergy from Finnish nature

Finland's forests provide raw materials for vital heat and power generation. Vapo is a
bioenergy company that values Finnish nature by generating energy from domestic wood and peat, especially for the needs of the industry, municipalities and energy companies.

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Skilled professionals in camping equipment

Finn-Savotta, which specializes in demanding hiking conditions, is a family company from
Karstula, known primarily for its traditional external frame backpacks. The company's expertise is reflected in its special load-bearing equipment and shelters, which are extremely durable because of the technical sewing, carrying ergonomics, aluminum expertise and material and structural knowledge.

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Moventas Turns a Deep Technical Know-how into Cleantech Products of the Future

Moventas, a company awarded for its international success and cleantech expertise, is doing demanding work with the design and production of wind turbine gearboxes. The company's customers include significant, international manufacturers of wind turbines and electric utilities, and the demand for Moventas's products is high around the world. The company is now making an investment of 17 million euros in Jyväskylä to increase its production capacity, enabling it to respond to the growing demand and create new jobs in the region.

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Nova, Hospital of the Future, Is Built Around the Patient's Needs

The foundation stone of the new hospital in Central Finland was laid in Jyväskylä in February 2017. It is the largest public investment in the region's history and the first completely new hospital in Finland since the 1950s. The contractor, SRV, has profiled itself as the leading company in hospital projects in the country. The new central hospital, located in Kukkumäki, is a massive and significant project, both when looking at how challenging its construction is and how it will generate well-being for the region.

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Jyväskylä's Growth Stems from Know-How – the City Now Has the Chance to Make Some Bold Moves

Jyväskylä is home to the first lyceum and teachers's college that used Finnish as its language of instruction. This has earned Jyväskylä the nickname “Athens of Finland”. In recent years, the strong university city has also achieved fame with its fantastic economic growth and entrepreneurial success stories. Anne Sandelin, Director of Business Development and Employment for the city of Jyväskylä, believes that the city's current growth stems from know-how.

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Healthy living in a Honkarakenne log house

Honkarakenne Oyj manufactures high-quality, ecological and healthy detached homes,
holiday houses and public buildings from Finnish solid wood. Established in 1958, the company has delivered nearly 85,000 buildings to more than 50 countries.

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Hearing protection from Central Finland

Silenta Group Oy specializes in the manufacture of hearing protectors and other hearing protection and communication solutions vital for occupational safety. The protectors are designed for demanding professional use and are the result of long-term development: Silenta, which is one of the world's leading manufacturers of hearing protectors, has been in the business since 1962.

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Multidisciplinary expertise to fuel the business life

The internationally recognized Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) has profiled itself as a school that provides high-quality education for thousands of students from different fields every year. In the next-generation university, people study in multidisciplinary student groups, try out different learning methods with an open mind, and are encouraged to try out new things.

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High-quality education export around the world

The Finnish education system is highly respected both at home and abroad. EduCluster Finland is an expert organization focused on learning and educational development, designing and implementing diverse educational services around the world.

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Paytrail makes sure that online payment is always a positive experience

During its first years, Paytrail, which operates in the field of online payments, at least doubled its turnover annually. The success of the rapidly growing company starts from paying attention to the well- being of the staff and helping colleagues. The customers are also treated in a similar manner.

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A transport company's business never stops

Silvasti’s name has been known since 1971, when Jouni Silvasti founded a company that focused on special transportation. Jouni’s son Ville started his career in special transport under his own name in 2002. Thanks to internationalization, the company's turnover is now around 20 million euros. The company is now expecting growth especially in the field of renewable energy.

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Mouth-watering delicacies for people with a sweet tooth

Even people with the most insatiable sweet tooth cannot help but smiling at the candy aisle when they see a bar of chocolate or bag of licorice made by Panda. The easy-going confectionery company's products have offered delicious solutions to satisfy the sweet tooth for decades.

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Gradia is reforming learning and working life

Access to a skilled workforce is one of the most important criteria for success and when selecting a company's domicile. Attractive vocational education and training (VET) plays a key role in regional success. The Jyväskylä Educational Consortium is now strongly reforming its operations.

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It is a university's task to change the world

The long history of the University of Jyväskylä dates back to the first Finnish-language teacher
training college in Finland, founded in 1863. Over the years, it has developed into an internationally significant multidisciplinary university, known not only for its high-quality teacher training, but also for its particle accelerator and the only sports science faculty in the country, among other things.

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Laukaa's appeal lies in its location and humane urban policy

When making decisions, the municipality of Laukaa pays attention to its residents' wishes and opinions. In Laukaa, people listen to their minds as well as their hearts in decision-making.

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Landis+Gyr finds a home in Jyväskylä for its Global R&D Center​​​​​​​

Landis+Gyr is a Swiss-based company that has established one of its global Research and Development centers in Jyväskylä. The company's offices around the world will benefit from the expertise of the modern unit, as its know-how is exported to other R&D centers globally.
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The bioheat of the future is generated from waste

Bio boilers are manufactured in the city of Saarijärvi. They are used to heat homes and produce process heat in Finland as well as elsewhere in Europe. Ariterm, which is especially focused on exports, is the market leader in its field in the Nordic countries and in England. Recycled wood is currently a particularly strong area of growth, and the company has developed unique technology for its combustion.

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Veteran of the concrete industry knows its operating environment

Betset is one of the few companies in Finland that are able to maintain continuous growth. The company, which started out from the yard of a farmhouse, is now one of Finland's largest family businesses in the concrete sector, and the company is looking to increase its turnover of 84 million euros also in the coming years.
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A commercial airport is the lifeblood of a growth center

The Jyväskylä Airport is home to both commercial operations and ones conducted by the Finnish Air Force. Without a commercial airport, the risk of dropping off the map is too big to take.

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POKE Vocational College is quick to adapt to the needs of working life

The Northern Central Finland Vocational College (POKE) is developing its operations and growing according to the needs of regional development. Forestry is the most significant employer in the region, especially after the completion of the new bioproduct mill. That is why the Vocational College is also investing heavily in the training of future forestry professionals.

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Äänekoski is home to the world's first next-generation bioproduct mill

Metsä Group has strong roots in Äänekoski: pulp production began in the city already in 1937. The new bioproduct mill, which started its operations in August 2017, expands the product selection by introducing new, high-value bioproducts to the market.

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Modern and strong industrial city in the heart of Finland

Äänekoski, located along the Finnish national road 4, about 40 kilometers from Jyväskylä, is
particularly well-known as a strong industrial city. The city, which is surrounded by waterways, invests heavily in the development of tourism, not just the industry, and wants to involve its inhabitants in building the future.

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The home of Toyota's World Rally Championship car is in Puuppola

About 700 million people around the world follow the World Rally Championship. There are many successful rally drivers in Finland – in Central Finland in particular – so the saying about Finns being the fastest people in the world is not just a myth.​​​​​​​

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Leading expert in storytelling

The story of Kirjakaari originally started from the desire to spread knowledge about Finland, Finns and the Finnish culture to every corner of the globe. Kirjakaari started as a book publishing company more than ten years ago. Recently, the company has experienced very strong growth, and it will focus its operations more and more on corporate stories in the future. Kirjakaari's range of services has expanded from the publishing and printing services that its partners are already familiar with to include many forms of business and marketing communications.

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Producer: Kirjakaari Oy.

www.kirjakaari.fi

Publicer: Central Finland Chamber of Commerce

Writers: Editor in chief Mira-Maria Heinonen, editors Nelli Miettinen, Emma Karki ja Antti Kekola

Graphic design and layout: Hanna Söderström, Pelismo Oy

Translations: Timo Aaltonen ja Karri Kaukinen, Apropos lingua Oy

Publishing services: Kirjakaari Oy

Printing press: Otavan Kirjapaino Oy, Keuruu