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World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization

« Global consultations
Finland 13 November 2002 (National Dialogue)

    The President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, opened the National Dialogue. In her speech she emphasised globalisation that would promote development and growth as well as reduce poverty. Globalisation process should also enhance decent life and humanity. President Halonen thought that Finland has succeeded well in globalized world. The reason behind this lies in a stable society, which has strong tradition of democracy, equal opportunities as regards to education, co-operation between universities and business sector, investment in research and development, and good public sector.

Experiences and opinions on globalisation varied between participants, but it was widely accepted that Finland has generally benefited from globalisation. Finland developed rapidly from rural society into a modern information society. Nordic welfare state model has created stability by guarantying all citizens' health care, social security and education. Finland is also considered to be one of the most competitive countries in the world. However, there are also experiences of downside effects of globalisation in Finland. For instance, one participant gave an example of a manufacture, which was transferred into a low-income country, although it was profitable in Finland.

Participants thought that there are certain aspects in the Finnish society, which could be "exported" abroad. Strengths that the participants found in the Finnish society were education, good public governance and tripartite incomes agreement. Education in Finland is considered to be of high standard, which is equal and irrespective of incomes. Finland has also been named as the world's least corrupted country. The tripartite incomes policy agreement creates stability in the labour market as the central confederation of employers and employees negotiate centralised incomes settlements together with the Finnish government every year or every-two years.


Report of the meeting - PDF

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 Updated 24 March 2003