Surviving combat in the world market

The Finland’s former minister of finance Iiro Viinanen has come to a conclusion, that after Nokia the next big thing for Finland will be tourism. When I heard this I almost laughed as would Silvio Berlusconi, the Friend of Finland. Who wants to come to Finland? If you want to shop why would you choose Helsinki if you could go to Paris? If you want to experience nature why would you choose Lapland instead of the Rocky Mountains? If you want to ski, go straight to the Alps, not Finnish Lapland!

Ok, Viinanen’s idea probably isn’t exactly the best option. But the question remains: what is the next big thing to our economy in Finland? And what’s the next big thing to the European Union? How will we survive in the worldwide trade in the future?

The question is difficult because our rivals are very good. The USA is the richest country in the world and the whole society based on working. In Europe we enjoy culture and the company of our friends; in the US they work around the clock six days a week.

When we look to the other direction to the East things seem even worse for us. The employee costs are far way lower than in Europe and even European companies are moving their factories to Asia. Resources are nearby and gradually they will also have the technical know-how. Take a look at India!

What do we have that they don’t? History? China has a colourful and long history too! Experience in the art of war? That’s not it.. Long life? Which in other words means just that we have an aging population and huge pension costs. Looks bad.

Actually our real strenght always comes to light during bad times. We have each other. We won’t stop buying and selling between European countries. We have even a common currency, the euro and open borders. Trading goods is easy and neat. At the same time the US is struggling and Russia sinks fast as the oligarks are depositing their fortune abroad and the oil price is down to 50–60 dollars per barrel.

Reetta Nurmo

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