August 22, 2012

Connections between countries – the Allegro experience

When borders between countries become open, it typically increases the economic activity. And further on, when the connections between them are improved, people start to move as well. And this of course brings economic activity, also for the construction business.
I am typing this text while sitting in Allegro –train between Helsinki and St.Petersburg, a train filled with Finnish and Russian businessmen and tourists. The high speed train takes only 3,5 hours between the cities and crosses the border of Finland and Russia during that same time.  I left Helsinki at 6:12 am and will be in city center of St.Petersburg at 10:48 am – Russian time is ahead of Finland one hour.
The connection did not used to be this way. Only some years ago it took more than 6 hours, minimum one hour stop at the border. And when looking back even further back to my youth in 80`s, the border was virtually not open because in the Soviet system people could not travel abroad. The concept of “free travel” is not so new after all.
But the boosting trade and economic activity between Russia and Finland is certainly now a reality. There are numerous shopping malls, spas and hotels build in Finland that without the Russian tourists would have never ever been built. And Peikko has obviously benefitted from this, not only on our sales and deliveries in Russia itself.
After all, borders can be also closed. I hope that the politicians in Russia remain wise, although sometimes I wish my good friends in Russia could have even better leaders. Economic activity such as construction business between countries is certainly not the only tool to keep peace in the world, but it certainly helps a lot in this process.