The Nature of the Finnish Competitiveness Problem

We assess Finland’s competitiveness in the light of various, mainly short-term indicators. It turns out that the weak export market performance over the last few years is linked to the deterioration of profitability of production in Finland. A better export and employment performance requires a decline of relative unit labour costs and an improvement of business profitability. Wage moderation would obviously serve this purpose. On the other hand, the determinants of Finland’s long-term competitiveness are quite good and maintaining and developing them should remain a key element of economic policy also in the future. In contrast, it would be a mistake to believe that Finland’s current competitiveness challenges could be solved primarily by improving management skills.