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An undated photo of the server farm of Google in Hamina, Finland. “Finland could currently do with a company such as Google or Apple,” says Petri Kuoppamäki, a professor of business law at Aalto University.
An undated photo of the server farm of Google in Hamina, Finland. “Finland could currently do with a company such as Google or Apple,” says Petri Kuoppamäki, a professor of business law at Aalto University.

Finland is the 13th best country in the world for doing business, according to Doing Business, a report published annually by the World Bank Group.

The report examines the regulatory environment of domestic businesses in a total of 190 countries across the world, ranking New Zealand as the best, Singapore as the second best and Denmark as the third best countries in the world for doing business. Somalia, Eritrea and Libya, by contrast, are respectively ranked as the worst, second worst and third worst countries in the world for business owners.

The ranking is based on the aggregate performance of countries across a total of ten areas: the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Finland fared particularly well in the area of resolving insolvency, ranking first overall, and received high marks for the ease of paying taxes, the ease of getting electricity, the ease of registering property and the ease of starting a business. The country was, on the other hand, ranked 70th in terms of the ease of protecting minority investors.

Its high ranking is no reason for jubilation, estimate experts interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat.

Lasse Koskinen, a professor of insurance science at the University of Tampere, reminds in an interview with the newspaper that the ranking of a country does not necessarily correlate with its economic performance. Georgia, he points out, was ranked one place ahead of Germany as the 16th best country in the world for doing business.

Finland is renowned for having solid institutional structures, which are typically a focal point of reports such as Doing Business, says Petri Kuoppamäki, a professor of business law at Aalto University.

The media, he says, has neglected to ask why the country continues to under-perform economically despite performing well in international assessments. “There are several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that Finnish businesses don't grow to become world-class companies. We of course have Slush[-sized] businesses with new ideas, but they're sold off before they get the chance to grow,” says Kuoppamäki.

“Our big companies are already old. Finland could currently do with a company such as Google or Apple,” he adds.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Handout – Google

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