FARAVID 33/2009


Tytti Isohookana-Asunmaa, Kostamus – an example of intertwining of politics and trade

This article describes building the city of Kostamus and it’s industrial combinate in the prospect of political decision making.

Kostamus -project was completed in 1970’s and 1980’s. Project’s total value was more than 2 billion current euros and it employed even 3 700 people. It is still the biggest construction project Finns have dyne abroad. The whole Finland gained from the project, but specially it had big effect on North Finland’s economy. It was unique sample of Finnish construction knowhow and good example how two ideologically different societies can co-operate.

Few persons had special impact on completion of project; In Finland the president Urho Kekkonen, board member of Bank of Finland Ahti Karjalainen and businessmen Helge Haavisto and Kauko Rastas, in Soviet Union specially the ambassador Vladimir Stepanov. Kostamus -project got quickly political aspect. In Finland the communists and Centre party’s ”K-linja”, the left wing , were specially supporting Kostamus -project whereas the right wing of Centre Party, National Coalition Party and Social democrats had their suspect. In political discussion Kostamus -project was connected to EEC-negotiations and later to presidential elections. These slowed down the start of the project.

Article tells also how Oulu –based construction companies showed their interest and active attitude on the project. Business people of Oulu created connections to political decision makers in order to be part of the project. It created new network of construction companies at Oulu area, many subcontractor companies and brought significant capital to the area.


Faravid 33/2009