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OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Finland 2003

A New Consensus for Change

image of OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Finland 2003

Finland is one of many OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its regulatory practices and reforms. This review presents an overall picture, set within a macro-economic context, of regulatory achievements and challenges including regulatory quality, competition policy, and market openness. It also assesses progress in the commercialisation of government services.

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Performance and Appraisal

Finland is a relatively small economy on Europe’s northern edge, with a population of just over 5 million concentrated in the south and west of a large country. It became an independent state in 1917, and cultivated before that a long tradition of economic nationalism to ward off domination by Sweden and then Russia. The traditional backbone of the economy used to be the exploitation of natural resources (iron, wood, agricultural products) and associated manufactured products (machinery, ships, paper, clothing and food). The economy was characterised by state monopolies, price regulation and cartels, which had been historically encouraged by a combination of economic, political and geographic factors. Though Finland had long been a member of EFTA and GATT, the dominant trading partner was the Soviet Union....

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