Many think Finland equals Nokia. But you’re forgetting the forest. Finland is 10% water and 70% forest, 23 million hectares of forest – find out more here. Kind of magical fairytale. Kind of huge money spinner and backbone of the economy.

The forest is pervasive throughout the economy. Around 60% of the forest is owned by ordinary Finns – individuals and families. In a country of five million people, around one million people own forest. The average size of a private holding is 44 hectares – only 9% of holdings are over 100 hectares.

The forest is around 10% of the Finnish GDP. Electrical and optical equipment are the top export industries at 24.3%, but paper and pulp is 19.3% and wood products another 5.5% (2003 figures).

The Finns are curiously proud and proudly curious about paper. Some Finnish magazines inside covers list the editors, the publishers … and the type of paper that they use. Finns are the most carefree users of paper, untroubled by “how many trees had to die for this” guilt.

CRIKEY: Another interesting column on life in Finland is on the site here – http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2005/03/007-0001-2172.html

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Peter Fray
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