Finland, a Nordic country between Sweden and Russia has about 5.4 million inhabitants. Other neighboring countries include Norway to the north and Estonia across the sea to the south. Finland became a Nordic welfare state due to its rapid economic development which began in the 1950s. Throughout history, Finland has had to strike a balance between the East and the West in politics and economics due to it’s proximity to the Soviet Union. Nowadays, Finland is called one of the most competitive, livable and peaceful countries in the world.
The capital city of Finland is Helsinki, a modern city with about 595,000 inhabitants in the city. One in every 5 Finns – around 1.1 million people – lives in the metropolitan area. The metropolitan area produces about one third of the country’s GDP and 83 out of 100 of the largest Finnish companies are headquartered in the metropolitan area.
Finland is a country rich in natural resources, such as minerals, fresh water and forests. In addition to these resources, the Finnish economy consists of hi-tech manufacturing, paper factories and heavy machinery. Finland is very dependent on the global economy as one third of the GDP comes from foreign trade. Its largest trade partners are Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Overall, about 60% of trade comes from within the EU. Finland is the only Nordic country using the Euro as its currency.
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