New Southern Europe?

May 22, 2014
Finland is becoming fast a low cost country! No one wanted it.

Southern EU is on the track of economic recovery.

Are Finland and The Netherlands becoming the new south in Europe?

Finland has always prided itself as one of the most disciplined economies in Europe.
Honestly, nobody outside Finland did care much about this achievement.

The last 8 quarters or so the economic growth in Finland has been close to zero and sometimes negative. Netherlands did not perform much better.

In 2013 Finland paid about 1 billion Euro to developing countries, while at the same time Finland itself is becoming a major developing country.

The public sector “contributes” about 57% to the GDP in Finland. The largest in Europe! Taxes both in Netherlands and Finland are one of the highest ones in Europe.

So now wonder that since 1990 the Finnish government debt has grown four times!

Finland was several years ago one of the best performing countries in Europe. Destroying performance is very quickly done; politicians (and citizens who vote for them) seem to manage this task perfectly well.

The large companies in Finland and Netherlands will survive this crisis as well, because they have the means to export.

SMEs will suffer, due to the already tiny domestic market shrinking even further.

The fact remains, that all nations need the SME sector, because they are the largest contributors to high employment levels.

When do the politicians really understand this and do something real for SMEs, consequently for GDP.

Finland is becoming the new “South” with low cost country production opportunities.

About the Author

R. Paul Vuolle Blog | CEO

R. Paul Vuolle's blog "The SME's Guide to European Manufacturing," has moved. You'll find his latest ideas and commentary on SME European Manufacturing on IndustryWeek's IdeaXchange. 

You'll find more articles written by Paul at

R. Paul Vuolle, CEO of Bellevue SME Advisors GmbH in Switzerland and Germany, works actively with small and medium (SME) size manufacturing companies in Europe in SCM/Outsourcing, logistics, turnaround and restructuring, market expansion, as well as succession planning and financing. He also frequently supports technology start- ups in building up their business. 

Paul has over 20 years operational industry experience in engineering, electronics, industrial automation, building automation, investment goods like electrical drives, automatic test & measurement systems, HV Transformer production systems. During his career he has worked in manufacturing industries in supply chain management, outsourcing, logistics, production, R&D and successfully selling to international large key accounts. Paul has also run a sizeable amount of M&A transactions in numerous countries around the world.

He has built up his experience working in various leadership positions and functions in large corporations, such as ABB, and having executive positions in medium-size family companies and as a technology entrepreneur.

Paul is MSc. E.E. from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich as well as BSc.E.E. from Helsinki Institute of Technology.

Paul is a long time member of IEEE and of its Industrial Applications Society.

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