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Crossing Lines,
Joining Forces
Scandinavia is once again a gateway to Russia, the Baltics and beyond.




ccording to UNCTAD reports measuring national business climate factors, Finland has hit the trifecta. Not only is the nation among top performers in both inward and outward investment relative to its size, but, along with Norway, Finland was among the top business climate reformers in 2003, for eliminating obstacles to opening and closing businesses, hiring and firing, and enforcing contracts.
      The region's IT readiness and leadership was confirmed yet again in fall 2004 when a report issued by Insead on behalf of Germany-based SAP found Denmark first in the EU in terms of networked readiness and e-business, trailed by Sweden, the Netherlands, the U.K., Finland and Germany.
Biogen IDEC is expanding its presence in the Medicon Valley region straddling Denmark and Sweden with a US$340-million, 200-employee plant on this site in Hillerod, north of Copenhagen.

      An in-depth study of the knowledge-based economy of 125 benchmarked countries by Robert Huggins and Associates found Sweden to be the leader in all of Europe. But Finland is catching attention there too. The firm's World Competitiveness Index 2004 found that the top two best-performing non-U.S. regions were Stockholm, at No. 15, and Uusimaa (Helsinki), coming in at No. 19 and rising 18 spots over its 2003 ranking. And the 2004 European Investment Monitor report from Ernst & Young found Stockholm and Copenhagen tied for sixth among European metros attracting the most investment projects (34).
      "The continued increase in Uusimaa's knowledge competitiveness remains phenomenal, with it maintaining very high levels of knowledge-based employment and high levels of research and innovation," reads the April 2004 report from Huggins.
      Much the same could be said for all Nordic nations, each in their fashion.

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