Magazine article The Futurist

Small Country Strategies

Magazine article The Futurist

Small Country Strategies

Article excerpt

On the Internet, no one knows you're a small country.

Finland's climate is harsh and its language is unfamiliar to most people who do business internationally. But in a global economy, Finland and other small countries need to become more attractive to business.

Nations that hope to provide an improved quality of life for their citizens in the future need to attract multinational enterprises. And the competition is getting tougher, according to a recent report by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

The study, Small Country Strategies in Global Competition, defines global competitiveness as "the ability of a nation-state to continuously attract high value-added activities of private enterprises worldwide" by providing sufficient supplies of advanced factors of production - e.g., industrial, financial, technological, commercial, administrative, and cultural skills.

For small countries like Finland, one immediate problem is to stop the "brain drain" of specialists rushing to take temporary foreign assignments. "Finnish students have the fifth highest EU mobility among the member states, after Greece, Ireland, Austria, and Portugal," the report notes. If Finland can't even keep Finns, how can it attract foreigners?

Penetration of Information/Communications Technology

Country            Mobile Phones      Online Users      PCs
                           (number per 100 inhabitants)

Finland                  29                10            23
Norway                   29                 4            32
Sweden                   28                 8            29
Denmark                  27                 2            33
United States            17                14            46
Japan                    15                 2            12
Italy                    11                 1             9
Switzerland               9                 5            32
Portugal                  7                 1            13
France                    4                12            16

Source: 1996 EITO figures cited in Small Country Strategies in
Global Competition.

Another worry in Finland and other Nordic countries is that the drive toward competitiveness will weaken those societies' cultural cohesiveness. "The Nordic countries currently have some of the most equal income distributions in the world," the report notes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.