Press release November 9, 2016

Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry, The Finnish Software Industry and Entrepreneur Association:

Trump kicks technology experts out of the U.S. – Finland welcomes them with open arms

Today, in the wake of the presidential election of the United States, Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry – The Finnish Software Industry and Entrepreneur Association, a contributor and prominent influence in the Finnish software industry, renews its proposal of that English is to be made 0ne of the official languages of Finland. This proposal was first published by Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry on March 11, 2015.

The president-elect of the United States Donald Trump promised during his campaign that he will cut down on visas and especially on the H1-B visas for the highly educated workforce. Reducing the availability of the H1-B visas will make it more difficult for foreign technology experts to enter the U.S. job market.

- We will do now the exact opposite and try our best to open doors for these superb foreign experts. The Finnish software industry wants and needs this sort of cutting edge technology expertise in order to excel in the global competition, says Rasmus Roiha, CEO of the Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry.

- Our goal is to turn Helsinki and its metropolitan area into what Silicon Valley used to be: the world-scale technology hub that shines the light for the rest of the industry to follow.

- In order to reach this goal we have to start fighting hard for the best professionals now that the United States deems it necessary to question their position in the U.S. Steve Jobs and many other software and high-tech industry superstars were sons and daughters of immigrants. In trying to win them over to come to Finland, we have to make our country a better option than for example Canada. And to beat Canada, we need to take decisive action immediately, emphasizes Roiha.

The first step should be breaking the language barrier

- The English language already holds a significant status in the Finnish culture and everyday life. Making this already present status official can only advance our success in the global market. English is the true lingua franca: it is the language of business, technology, science, politics, culture and the Internet.

- Thanks to the widely acknowledged educational system of Finland, almost every Finnish person of age has mastered at least a basic command of the English language. We have to officially recognize English right now when so many English-speaking experts are starting to look for a new home, Roiha declares.

If English was to be made the official language of Finland, it would complement the Finnish national languages, which are Finnish and Swedish. In the constitution of Finland official language status has already been granted to the Sami language, the Romani language and Sign language.

With this renewed proposal, Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry warmly welcomes all American and America-based software experts to Finland.

Contact:

Rasmus Roiha, CEO                                    
rasmus@ohjelmistoyrittajat.fi                    
+358 400 180 434                                  

Matti Heikkonen, Chairman of the Board
matti.heikkonen@questback.com
+358 40 5484487