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OECD Territorial Reviews: Helsinki, Finland 2003

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Helsinki, Finland 2003

The Greater Helsinki Region emerged from the 1990s as an internationally competitive economy. This review examines the factors contributing to this success and the new development challenges it has created. One critical policy question is the Finnish dependence on the telecom/mobile industry. The current strategic positioning of the Finnish ICT cluster builds on a high-return/high-risk scenario. Long-term regional competitiveness requires a more focused strategy of diversification, i.e. developing ICT activities beyond the current cluster scope. Social inclusion is another crucial issue. Persistent unemployment among the less educated population and growing income disparities are calling for the restructuring of past policies. The Greater Helsinki Region needs to find ways to promote new opportunities of social cohesion. Rapid population growth has resulted from greater economic competitiveness requiring renewed commitment to managed growth and compact development. All of these challenges create needs for greater metropolitan co-ordination that are examined in turn.

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Assessment and Recommendations

Helsinki and its surrounding region emerged from the 1990s as an internationally competitive economy that had seemingly grafted the requisites of the “New Economy” onto the bedrock principles of the Nordic welfare state. Although the robustness of this model is still uncertain, the accomplishment is notable in providing a concrete example of globalisation dynamics that have been compatible with a significant scope for government...

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