(May 2013) Nokia, Europe's once lone global consumer electronics champion, became the world's biggest mobile phone handset manufacturer in 1998 and in 2001 when the company’s individual share value stood at over €65, Nokia accounted for 4% of Finland's national GDP and contributed over a billion euros in tax revenues. The company's employment in Finland peaked in 2005 at 24,000 and in the key smartphone market Nokia is now a minnow with a low single digit market share compared with the giants Samsung and Apple. Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds game app for smartphones, has become the second most well-known Finnish high-tech company in recent times.
(February 2013) The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism and Sweden's Social Democrats have registered the term "Nordic Model" as a trademark, even though it has evolved from their decades of governing . While they have played an essential role in the development of the Nordic Model, this was going too far, wrote the Finnish daily Kaleva last year: "The Nordic Model is a term used when one speaks of the Nordic welfare state. The expression has now become established in the Nordic countries, as well as in international political and social debate. Sweden's Social Democrats have played a key role in both the ideological and the practical development of the Nordic welfare society. But they aren't so important that they alone can determine everything the Nordic Model means and comprises. The Nordic countries have participated in the development of the Nordic Model each in their own way. It's not just a Social Democratic project."
(April 2012) Daily News Digest -- Wed Apr 11, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain’s future is on the line in its battle to tame surging bond yields, as the head of the nation’s second-largest region proposed handing back powers to the government to cut costs...US consumer electronics giant Apple is now worth over $600bn. Already the world's most valuable company, it reached a new all-time high in early trade on Tuesday.
(April 2012) Daily News Digest - - Thurs Apr 05, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; European Central Bank President Mario Draghi quashed talk of an early exit from emergency stimulus measures as Spain struggled to borrow in financial markets, a reminder of the risk that the region’s debt crisis could flare again...China has become the world's largest market for food and grocery retail, surpassing the US. Research published by IGD revealed that the grocery sector in China was worth $972bn by the end of the 2011.
(March 2012) Daily News Digest - - Thurs Mar 29, 2012: Key Irish and international business news at a glance; Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces down the first general strike against his three-month old government as pressure from investors and European peers trumps demands from unions...Jukka Laaksonen, the former head of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK who retired in January, will now work for the Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom. The move comes as an unpleasant surprise for the French nuclear power company Areva, which has just built a nuclear plant in Finland and fears Laaksonen will reveal company secrets.
(March 2012) Weekly Business News Summary -- week ending Mar 24, 2012: Ireland reported on Thursday that GDP (gross domestic product) grew 0.7% in 2011 but fell in the two last quarters which confirmed that the economy was in recession (two successive quarters of contraction).. .Spain’s sovereign borrowing costs rose above 5.5% for the first time since January as investors reacted to growing fears that Spain is facing a deep recession...In none of the 34 OECD countries is the pay gap between men and women as large as it is in Germany. According to the organisation, German women earn on average 25% less than men...Consumption of carbonated soft drinks in America fell to a 16-year low in 2011, according to Beverage Digest...The final report of a public tribunal into planning corruption, found that Bertie Ahern, taoiseach (prime minister) from 1997-2008, lied under oath about the sources of substantial sums of money that had passed through his bank accounts when he was minister for finance in the early 1990s. Ahern was a protégé of Charles Haughey, another former taoiseach and leader of the once dominant Fianna Fáil party, who had been found by another tribunal to have been guilty of massive corruption during a 35-year long political career.
(February 2012) Switzerland is Europe's innovation leader outperforming all EU27 countries. In the EU’s 2011 Innovation Scoreboard (IUS), Sweden leads, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland. Ireland, benefiting from the strong impact of innovative foreign companies in the economy, gets a 12th ranking, just above the EU average, from a sample of 35 European countries. Comparing the EU27 with a selected group of major global competitors shows that the US, Japan and South Korea have a performance lead over the EU27.
Israel, Finland and Sweden are viewed by experts as the countries with the strongest defences against cyberattacks
(January 2012) Israel, Finland and Sweden are viewed by experts as the countries with the strongest defences against cyberattacks on their public and private computer systems, according to a study into cybersecurity published on Monday by Security & Defence Agenda, a Brussels-based think–tank. From a total sample of 23 countries, four - - Brazil, India, Mexico and Romania -- are classified as the countries most vulnerable to cyberattacks and cybercrime because their public and private sectors do not have the proper systems and procedures in place to defend themselves.
FT MBA Top 100 Rankings 2012: Smurfit Business School drops to 86th rank; Anglo-Saxon countries dominate
(January 2012) The Financial Times ranking of the top 100 global full-time MBA programmes, published today, shows that Dublin's Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has dropped to 86th rank globally in 2012 from 78th in 2011 and up slightly from its three year average of 87th. The School was ranked 17th among the top MBAs in Europe. This is the thirteenth consecutive year that UCD Smurfit School has been included in the global top 100. The Stanford Graduate School of Business is rated the best in the world, up two places on its three year average place. It leads the Harvard and Wharton business schools with London and Columbia completing the top five. US universities account for half the top 100 institutions listed and China has three schools among the FT's list of the world's best. Some of Europe's best run economies are missing from the rankings - - Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark -- and as these surveys are usually carried out by American or British newspapers, it's inevitable that there is a bias towards Anglo-Saxon systems. The UK has 14 schools in the rankings.
Irish Public Service: Time to follow Sweden, Finland and Switzerland by ending guarantee of lifelong employment?
(January 2012) Irish Public Service: The Irish Times reports today that the Government is likely to have to recruit hundreds of school teachers later this year to plug gaps left by a bigger-than-expected uptake of staff leaving before new pension changes take effect next month. The current voluntary rush for the exits is a symptom of a dysfunctional system which comes at a steep price. People may rail against staff embargos and frontline staff joining an exit inducement scheme, however the key issue here is ignored - - the guarantee of lifelong permanent employment. Progressive countries such as Sweden and Finland responded to economic crises in the early 1990s by upending the status quo. Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand are also among other countries that give all employees, whether public or private, equal protections and rights.