Finland’s great strengths include innovation, its health and education system and well-functioning institutions, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2012.

Finland has been ranked the most competitive country in the European Union and third overall in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Thanks to small improvements in a number of areas, Finland has moved up one place from last year’s rankings. WEF defines competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.

According to the report, Finland boasts well-functioning and highly transparent public institutions, topping several indicators included in this category including property rights, intellectual property protection, efficiency of the legal framework, and the reliability of police services. Finland’s private institutions, ranked third overall, are also seen to be among the best run and most ethical in the world.

Leader in education and innovation

Finland occupies the top position both in the health and primary education pillar as well as the higher education and training pillar, the result of a strong focus on education over recent decades. According to WEF, this has provided the workforce with the skills needed to adapt rapidly to a changing environment and has laid the groundwork for high levels of technological adoption and innovation.

The report places Finland second in the world for innovation. In addition to having the best availability of scientists and engineers, Finland is also among the top four countries for its capacity for innovation, company spending on R&D, university-industry collaboration in R&D, and the number of PCT patent applications.

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