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Finnvera’s export credit guarantees support companies exporting to Ukraine: "We wouldn’t stand a chance without them.”

The picture shows the Irpin river in the Kyiv region of Ukraine. The region of Irpin suffered severe damage in the early stages of the Ukrainian war. Finland donated temporary apartments to Irpin in the spring of 2023.
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At the start of the year, the opportunities for Finnish companies to do business with their Ukrainian counterparts improved significantly as Finnvera resumed granting export credit guarantees to Ukraine. Export credit guarantees help companies reduce the risks associated with fund repatriation. Now Finnish companies such as Piippo and Raniplast have been able to offer payment periods to their customers instead of requiring advance payments.

According to Piippo CEO Mikko Anttila, Finnvera’s export credit guarantees provide the company with flexibility as well as added security for its risk management.

"They came at the right time, because otherwise we wouldn’t have stood a chance against our competition. Now we can continue to grow our business in Ukraine", Anttila explains.

Piippo manufactures baling net wraps and twines for the agricultural industry. In addition, the company makes various binding-related instruments for the industrial sector. Around 80% of the group’s EUR 15 million turnover comes from abroad. Its largest markets are Central Europe, the Nordic countries, and the United States.

"Ukraine is an important export destination for us. We’ve been exporting our agricultural products there for the past six years, and we’ve also managed to increase our brand presence there. Once the war began, everything got stuck for a while. The situation has calmed down somewhat, but we’re still facing challenges with our freight transports and payment arrangements. Our Ukrainian retailer picks up the goods they sell directly from us", Anttila notes.

According to Anttila, Piippo’s exports to Ukraine are also an ethical choice for the company, which ceased its operations in Russia as soon as the war began. At the same time, the company has been astonished by how well everything has continued to function in a country that still remains under siege. 

However, under the current circumstances, exporting to Ukraine requires experience and contacts.

"Finding the right retailer is essential, as our risks have not been reduced. It’s impossible to guess what the future will bring. We're proceeding one day and harvest season at a time", Anttila concludes.

Raniplast: Finnvera’s support has meant the world to us  

Olli Nylund, Raniplast’s Business Controller, agrees with Anttila. The company was forced to rely on advance payments before Finnvera resumed granting export credit guarantees to Ukraine at the start of the year.

"Finnvera’s support has meant the world to us. Without Finnvera, it would be much more difficult to make any deals", he summarises.

Raniplast manufactures various plastic products for agriculture, construction, and industry, and the company’s white bale wraps are a familiar sight on many Finnish fields.

One third of the company’s nearly EUR 200 million turnover comes from Finland, while the other Nordic countries account for another third. Around 20% comes from the rest of Europe, and the remaining share is spread around the world.

"We’ve made use of Finnvera’s export credit guarantees for years, as we also export to more exotic locations such as South America and Africa. These are the types of places where you really need a partner's help."

"We also have strong ties to Ukraine, as we’ve operated there for the last 25 to 30 years. Ukraine is a large agricultural area, but our local partner has a strong presence there. Once the war began, we had to cease trading there for a little while, but now we've resumed our exports, albeit in a smaller capacity", Nylund explains.

Raniplast has had particular issues with its logistics. Currently, Raniplast’s Ukrainian partner picks up its goods directly from the company’s plant in Finland before transporting them to Ukraine – at its own risk.

Exporting to Ukraine requires experience

Finnvera is the only actor in Finland that can finance companies that wish to engage in short-term trade in Ukraine. The granting of export credit guarantees was suspended for around two years following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

"We can grant export credit guarantees when the buyer company’s business is sufficiently profitable. We always check their credit details and obtain additional information when necessary. A Finnish exporter should also have previous experience with difficult export destinations. In terms of granting an export credit guarantee, it is beneficial if the exporter has already traded with a buyer in Ukraine. However, we can also grant export credit guarantees to wholly new buyers when sufficient information is available", notes Senior Adviser Outi Homanen from Finnvera's Country Risk Management Team. 

She urges those interested in Ukraine to visit Business Finland’s Ukraine site, which contains a great deal of useful information.

The most common products for securing exports with short payment periods are credit insurances and letters of credit. Credit insurances have already been granted to companies exporting to Ukraine. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment can compensate up to EUR 50 million in credit losses arising from export credit guarantees granted for the purposes of promoting exports and investments.

"The price of the financing is always influenced by the target country. In our seven-level country classification, Ukraine is considered a top-risk country", Homanen explains.

Finland is strongly committed to rebuilding Ukraine – It will be crucial to revitalise the Ukrainian economy

According to Ambassador Antti Vänskä, Finland’s Special Envoy for the Reconstruction of Ukraine at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, providing support to Ukraine is absolutely essential for Finland and the rest of Europe. As such, Finland is strongly committed to rebuilding Ukraine. 

"It will be crucial to revitalise the Ukrainian economy, as it lost nearly a third of its GDP in the first year of the war. Finnvera’s role as a provider of financing is essential, as companies need someone to share their risk with when exporting to Ukraine, as well as the tools offered by the state."

Vänskä also underlines the importance of doing one’s homework on Ukraine, as the competitive landscape can be tough in a country that is not familiar to most companies. This is why it makes sense to find the right partners.

"Finnish companies have a lot to offer in many areas, such as energy, agriculture, construction, and the education and training sector."


Piippo manufactures baling net wraps and twines for the agricultural industry and has been exporting to Ukraine, known as Europe's granary, for the past six years. According to Piippo, exports to Ukraine are also an ethical choice for the company, which ceased its operations in Russia as soon as the war began. Photo: Piippo.


Text: Kimmo Koivikko

Read also:

Finnvera’s export credit guarantees help promote Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts

Read more about Finnvera's export credit guarantees.


Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland: Financing solutions, advice and support - Finland’s national plan supports Ukraine by improving the operating conditions of Finnish companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine

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