Finland's economic woes

It would seem that not even the most innovative and competitive economies are immune from recession.

I am currently in Finland where news emerged yesterday that the economy shrank the most in 17 years in the fourth quarter.

GDP fell 1.3 percent from the previous three months and unemployment rose to 7 per cent. It may also contract by as much as 4.4 percent in 2009.

The main problem is exports, which accounts for more than a third of Finland's economy. During the last three months of 2008, exports fell by an annual 14 percent and its main European markets - Sweden, Germany and the U.K. are already in recession.

It will therefore be interesting to see how the Turku Innovation Platform project will be received by policymakers when we meet later this week. Certainly, we hope to link into this from Wales and ensure that we can form stronger relationships with Finnish firms and universities,

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