Development priorities for Central Ostrobothnia 2014–2020
Key development target 1: Acceleration of export and internationalisation
Development of competitiveness is a key issue for the entire country's future. This will require that industry's share of the national product must be high, and it must be possible to increase export's share of the national product. Central Ostrobothnia region's business and economy are very export driven. The region's key fields with regard to export are especially the chemicals industry, refining of metals, manufacture of transport vehicles, as well as agriculture and forestry. Central Ostrobothnia's abundant enterprise base and its international expertise together provide excellent possibilities for increasing exports.
Key development target 2: Employment of new skilled workforce, maintaining existing skilled personnel and an increase of expertise
Central Ostrobothnia has seen a decline in the number of people in its population who are of a working age, and the number of pensioners in the area is growing. This presents a challenge especially in the region's rural villages, if the region wants its countryside to remain populated and viable. In order to safeguard and develop Central Ostrobothnia's labour force, wellbeing and viability, the area must be developed. The level of education of the region's population is still lower than in the country in general. Especially the share of university graduates is lower than the country's as a whole. The region's level of expertise must be improved at all educational levels and fields.
Key development target 3: An increase in productivity of work
Compared to the country as a whole, Central Ostrobothnia is very entrepreneur intensive. Entrepreneurs make up 15% of the region's employed labour force, while the national share of entrepreneurs is 10%. Primary production and industrial activity are more strongly emphasised in the region's job structure than the overall national job structure. Together with the decline in residents of a working age the target to increase export will require an increase in work productivity. At present, an increase in work productivity will require relatively modest increases in research and development expenses.
Key development target 4: Improved accessibility
Central Ostrobothnia is in an excellent location logistically, which means it has a good chance in increasing exports and attracting skilled labour. As society's ability to maintain and develop its existing transport and data communication infrastructure dwindles, regions are required to engage in aggressive lobbying and actively search for new development and funding solutions. Unhindered mobility of people, goods and data is the basic requirement for developing the region's vitality.