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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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Regulatory and Competition Issues in Key Sectors

The public sector has a particularly significant place in the Finnish economy, both at the national and local levels. Although change has taken place, it still accounts for almost a quarter of total employment. Most social and welfare services are provided directly by the state. As elsewhere, there has also been an important presence in the network industries such as the railways. But the Finnish state is – or has been – involved beyond this, in a diverse range of industrial and commercial activities including forestry products, mining and chemicals, finance, grain trade and storage, cars and machinery (among others). This unusually high level of engagement reflects Finnish history which for a long time was marked by a need to secure economic independence against an uncomfortable background of foreign political control, for which state ownership acted as a bulwark. Private capital was also scarce....

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