Research Proposal for Brief Description of Finland


Brief Description of Finland

Finland is generally recognized among the European countries as a great economic power. States such as Italy or Spain have opened their boundaries to immigration from less developed countries in the European Union, but Finland has chosen to safeguard the jobs of its population and has as such managed to maintain the increased living standards that many long for. In terms of the gross domestic product for 2008, the website of the Central Intelligence Agency ranks the northern European country as the 54th largest economy of the globe (out of 228), with a GDP of an estimated $195.2 billion. In terms of size, Finland is slightly smaller than Montana, ranking 71st on the top of global countries by size. The climate is generally cold and temperate, with less than 7% of the land being arable. This climate however allows the Finnish to enjoy the beauty of four seasons, feature which attracts numerous tourists each year. “The long, light days of summer pulsate with international festivals of performing arts, from opera and jazz to dance and tango, while the Finnish winter landscape is a natural playground for every conceivable winter sport and activity. Sparkling lakes and endless forests provide the perfect retreat and a ready-made therapy for the stresses and strains of modern life” (Visit Finland).

Finland has historically been an agricultural country in which most of the activities revolved around farming, forestry and fishing. In the past century however, the state has turned to a modern economy and has become one of the strongest European economies. Today’s Finland is characterized by several strengths, some of the most relevant ones being presented below:

Life expectancy at birth of 78.97 years (ranked 37th in the world)

100% literacy rate

Annual deaths due to HIV / AIDS of less than 100 and the risk of contracting infectious diseases fairly low

Gross domestic product of $195.2 billion, with sustained annual growth rate of 1.5%; most income to the national product is generated by services, followed by industry and agriculture

Income per capita of $37,200 (30th largest individual GPD on the globe)

Unemployment rate of 6.4% (79th largest on the globe)

Surplus of trade balance — the main trade partners are the countries in the European Union, followed by the United States and China (Central Intelligence Agency, 2009)

The increased living standards are also revealed by the low population density of only 15.5 individuals per square kilometer. Out of the total population of 5.3 million, one third continues to live in rural areas, whilst two thirds live in towns and cities. The people are generally very united and form a homogenous group, in which immigrants only account for 2% — most of the immigrants come from Russia, Sweden and Estonia and are generally of Finnish descent. In terms of religion, full freedom has been introduced starting with 1923, after which time the most common religions have become Lutheran and Orthodox.

The Finnish population is intensively focused on education, with children being obliged to go to school until the age of 16. After that, they can choose from a multitude of institutions offering higher level education. Recent focus is being placed on Information Technology as the country’s means of surviving in this highly technological environment, in which it already constitutes a remarkable presence (Embassy of Finland at Washington, 2009).

2. Development of Technology

As mentioned in the previous section, Finland is one of the most technologically developed countries not only within Europe, but also at a global level. Additionally, with the support of the growing forces of globalization and market liberalization, the Finnish organizations have become better able to expand to international regions and further increase their chances of success. A region into which Finnish organizations have expended is given by Californian Silicon Valley, the greatest technological hub on the globe. “During the past decades Finland has developed from an agricultural nation into one of the most technologically advanced societies. During the 1990s, Finland devoted many resources to technology education and research, while companies like Nokia were growing. Among the results are the innovative Finnish high tech companies now operating in the United States” (Embassy of Finland at Washington).

Nokia is probably the most relevant example of Finnish success in the field of Information Technology. The company was established in 1865 with the specified aim of manufacturing and exporting paper. It was located in a small community and, due to its necessity for large numbers of employees, it soon attracted more individuals and set the basis of small town. Throughout the following century, intense focus was being placed on the generation of electricity and the initial company merged with two more companies to form the Nokia Group in order to serve this desiderate. As mobile telephones increased in popularity throughout the 1970s, Nokia proved its ability to replace the older electro-mechanical analog switches with the more modern and efficient digital switches (Nokia DX 200). Following this breakthrough, the company continually conducted R&D to improve the quality of its products and included features such as computer control or microprocessors. “Slowly and steadily, Nokia became a large television manufacturer and also the largest information technology company in the Nordic countries. During the economic recession the Nokia was committed to telecommunications. The 2100 series of the production was so successful that inspite of its goal to sell 500,000 units, it marvellously sold 20 million. Presently, Nokia is the number 1 production in digital technologies, it invests 8.5% of net sales in research and development. Also has its annual Nokia Game” (Connect Mobiles).

Annotated Bibliography:

2009, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, last accessed on July 20, 2009 — this website is a highly valuable source revealing objective information on various economic, political, geographic and demographic features. In the recent past, the website has been subjected to changes to modernize it, but a shortage has materialized in the elimination of the data for the global average, meaning then that the information retrieved cannot be compared to international averages, only to specific countries.

2009, About Finland, Finland Embassy at Washington, last accessed on July 20, 2009 — the purpose of this website is a multifold one, including desires such as a familiarization of the Americans with the features of Finland and its population or the offering of assistance to Finnish individuals currently on U.S. territory. From a research point-of-view, the benefit is that the governmental portal will reveal reliable information, but it might tend to focus more of successes and not address failures or criticism.

Finland Facts, Visit Finland, last accessed on July 20, 2009 — This website represents a collection of articles focused on presenting the northern European country from a touristy stand point. Its benefit is that it reveals objective and useful facts in such a writing style that it attracts visitors by creating an extremely favorable image of the country.

Nokia History, Connect Mobiles, last accessed on July 20, 2009 — the website is generically designed for the IT passionate and has the primary feature of representing a centralized data base on vast and various information from the IT field. The website does not belong to Nokia or any other company, meaning as such that the benefit is that of information from tertiary sources.

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