Finland's Blunter Competitive Edge

Yle Uutisten artikkeliarkisto

Finland has dropped to eighth place in an annual survey of economic efficiency by the Swiss business school, IMD. Last year, Finland was ranked as the third-most competitive economy in the world.

Every year IMD releases a competitiveness report, which is based on economic data as well as a survey of business executives.

This time round, Finland has slipped five places to eighth. The reasons for this, according to IMD, are the country's high jobless rate and price level.

Although Finland is ranked lower than before, it doesn't necessarily mean that the national economy has taken a turn for the worse. Rather, other countries have improved their own position and overtaken Finland.

Finland will have to rethink ways of attracting foreign investment and creating jobs.

IMD says the Finns should revamp their labour legislation so that it would provide more incentives for hiring people. It also notes that the working week is quite short compared to many other countries.

The United States held on to its position as the most competitive economy in the world thanks to an increase in overseas investment by US firms.

Meanwhile, the most competitive western European economy was Denmark, in seventh place.

In the survey, Western Europe lagged behind because of sluggish growth and growing budget deficits. IMD said the continent has become "marginally richer but a lot older".