Finland’s competitiveness drops, but still tops Nordics

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Finland finds itself at the top among the Nordic countries, and fourth most competitive among European countries, despite current economic challenges says the WEF.(iStock)
Finland finds itself at the top among the Nordic countries, and fourth most competitive among European countries, despite current economic challenges says the WEF. (iStock)
The World Economic Forum has ranked Finland as the eighth most competitive economy in the world – a drop of four places compared to last year.

The ranking said that Finland’s macroeconomic indicators are a cause for concern, but the underlying fundamentals of the economy remain strong.

Finland’s place on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2015-2016 dropped to eighth place – a year ago Finland placed fourth on the list. According to the report, Finland is the most competitive among the Nordic countries.

‘Successive shocks’

Finland’s slide down the rankings were partly due to “successive shocks” to its information technology and paper industries and one of its largest export markets, Russia.

According to the report, Finland’s GDP was 6 percent smaller than in 2008, but due in part to its high standings in other areas, the country could turn the situation around.

The report’s authors lauded Finland’s long-term growth-promoting factors, saying that “its public institutions are rated as the most transparent and efficient in the world; its higher education and training system is excellent; and it has a strong capacity for innovation.”

To facilitate a recovery, the report suggested that Finland should fix “long-standing rigidities in its labour market especially the centralized wage-bargaining system,” which, it says contributes to the country’s 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

At top among Nordics

Finland finds itself at the top among the Nordic countries and fourth most competitive among European countries.

Roger Wessman, who previously worked as head economist at Nordea and Evli banks said that the report’s results about Finland shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone and that he remained positive.

“Everyone knows that things have been going relatively badly in the Finnish economy lately,” Wessman said. “But we’re still [ranking] quite high on the list, so in terms of competitiveness many things are going well.”

The WEF index compared 140 countries. The top three most competitive were Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Metal, mineral price drop affecting Canada’s North, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Faroe Islands cashing in on Russian sanctions, Barents Observer

Finland:  Finland trims economic growth forecast, Yle News

Iceland:  Calls for action at Arctic shipping conference, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway: Arctic Council aims to boost business, Barents Observer

Russia: China to provide parts for Russian offshore projects, Barents Observer

Sweden: Government to form council of researchers for sustainable development, Radio Sweden

United States: What Shell’s decision means for Alaska economy, Alaska Dispatch News

 

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One thought on “Finland’s competitiveness drops, but still tops Nordics

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    30 September 2015 at 14 h 58 min
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    Great article!

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