Haparanda and Tornio Working Together

The other day we had the pleasure of hearing from Sven-Erik Bucht a member of Swedish Parliament that discussed cooperation between two bordering cities Haparanda and Tornio.  In 1987 an  organization was founded that started to look for synergies between the two cities and it has been successful since.  Both cities are able to share resources with one another such as ambulances and fire trucks allowing the cities services to be as effective as possible, but without all of the cost.  This synergy also led to a golf course being established that goes across two different countries and has the longest shot due to the hour time difference between the Sweden and Finland.  The cooperation is possible as the city council for each city elects five members each to look for synergies.  These members are divided into multiple work groups that deal with business, tourism, training, education, Community structure, city planning, environmental issues, physical education, leisure time, social services and cultural activities.  This unique cooperation has led numerous articles to be published regarding the success Haparanda and Tornio have achieved.  It has also aided in being able to attract large companies to the area.  IKEA was a first mover that saw the potential of the area and all of the individuals that can easily access Haparanda and Tornio.  This led to nearly 1,500 new service sector jobs to be created for these cities.

– Will and Pat

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