The rumor according to which the Nordic countries would have not been affected by the crisis is indeed a legend. Finland is an ultra-modern country regarding to the use of new technologies, however, is indeed in recession. Finland has many issues: young people trying to defend their social model towards the EU and the purchase of Nokia byMicrosoft in 2013, the atmosphere is therefore tense as the country is deprived of elements that made its identity. Fortunately, if there is indeed something that the country can’t be deprived of is its thousand lakes and wooded areas, which for centuries have been the mainstay of its economy but also its most important resource.
An historical industry concern
Finnish forestry is an industry that has always been present over the centuries and whose history dates back to the Middle Ages. Its economic partners were Estonia and Sweden since the country was first part of the Kingdom of Sweden. Then Russia, as Finnand then fell under the yoke of the Soviet Union in 1809. Following the boom of steam, consuming a lot of wood, its exports were boosted in Europe. Therefore, as Finland declared its independence in 1917, the timber industry represented 75% of GDP. Furthermore, forestry also participated in the development of other industries and laid the foundations of the current economic climate. However, the timber industry is no longer the first Finnish sector: from now on it is the electronics sector brings together the largest amount of FDI and turnover. This fact can be seen as a direct result of the relocation of the production of paper production in countries such as China and Latin America, where the production of wood fiber-based eucalyptus is much cheaper. Therefore, only the production of fibers based on pine and spruce (which Finnish soil is particularly rich) persists.
Time to react
However, no panic: forestry remains a key sector of the Finnish economy. Three-quarters of the land is covered by forests, e.g. 22 million hectares. Indeed, Finland produces between 15% and 25% of the paper and cardboard sold worldwide. To solve the problem, the timber industry has decided to focus on the packaging and printing industries in order to be able to stick to its paper policy that remains focused on innovation and R&D. This renewal of the timber market could be the key to a long lasting success, since in the last years, the protection of forests has increased and led to a lower sampling compared with plantations and regeneration of forests. Therefore, less resources lead to a specialization in a precise domain, which is a phenomenon to be found in many countries (and in all types of industries) in response to the globalization of the economy .
Finland is a very touristic country thanks to its large wooded valleys and beautiful lakes, moreover, the country is not ready to give up on its natural resources in the benefits of tourists. Modern facilities and Finnish plants have nothing to envy to its competitors, therefore, forestry should take his place back in the national economy, provided that mutations are in route.