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PEOPLE around the world are making (and breaking) their resolutions for the coming year. Yet I believe this annual goal-setting could be taken further and be applied to entire countries. We are set for a parliamentary election this spring, so our new MPs may need some suggested resolutions for the new year.

1) IMPROVE our foreign direct investment efforts. Presently international investors are not only avoiding Finland, they are selling their current investments here. In 2013 they withdrew €5 billion from the Finnish economy. We have a lot to offer international investors, and we need to tell them about it.

2) REFORM our asylum system and increase funding. Now it is fragmented by municipality with unfair outcomes. Finland has been the object of complaints from the UN Committee Against Torture and the European Court of Human Rights. We are also being shamed by our neighbour Sweden, who has been much more humane in their liberal policies.

3) REFORM the retirement system. Weak compromise measures will no longer suffice. We must tie the retirement age to life expectancy and make strenuous efforts to encourage individuals to make use of private retirement accounts.

4) IMPROVE our capital markets. So much depends on capital, and our capital markets are dying. Entrepreneurs complain about the domestic venture capital market, and the Helsinki Stock Exchange seems to be comatose. The best way to do this is to simplify tax laws and lower tax rates for investors.

5) SELL our stakes in unnecessary state-owned companies. Finland does not need to own retail stores, airlines, real estate firms and insurance companies which compete against private corporations.

...

David J. Cord
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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