Lapas attēli


supports high domestic prices and ensures that supplies are used up before imports can occur. Finland often produces a substantial wheat surplus, which is disposed of on world markets through state and producer-financed subsidies. U.S. agricultural products are not treated differently than other foreign products. Imports of coal, oil, and gasoline require a license. Coal can be imported from any source, as can oil and gasoline since the end of the Fenno-Soviet clearing (barter) system in January 1991. Textile imports are subject to a licensing system if they originate outside of the Soviet Union, the EC, and EFTA. There are some restrictions for non-EC or EFTA iron and steel imports as well.

Finland's service sector is still highly protected, including insurance, tourism, air transport, and to some extent telecommunications. The banking sector has liberalized significantly, however, and foreign banks can now operate in Finland and Finns may obtain loans from foreign banks. In the insurance sector, market reservations prohibit foreign companies from providing life, pension, and certain types of auto policies. The government intends to open long-distance telecommunications to competition and introduce other reforms in the telecom area. The Finnish Broadcasting Company requires that a "sufficient" amount of broadcasting time be devoted to domestic production. The EEA agreement will require Finland to adopt the EC broadcast directive, which has a 50 percent European programming target for non-news or sports programming.

Finland is a signatory to the GATT Standards Code and is completing the process .of harmonizing its technical standards to EC norms.

Finland is the process of liberalizing rules on foreign investment. However, significant restrictions remain, including a prohibition on owning real estate except for land surrounding foreign business operations. Foreign ownership of forest or recreation areas is not permitted. Ministry of Trade and Industry permission is required for all land acquisitions.

The government is taking a more liberal attitude towards foreign takeovers of Finnish companies, although Ministry of Trade and Industry permission is required in all cases. In 1989, the government announced its willingness to consider foreign investment in all sectors except natural resource exploitation (mineral extraction and forestry). In order for a Finnish company to be considered domestic and to avoid burdensome paperwork requirements when acquiring land, some companies have clauses limiting foreign ownership. In these cases only 20 percent of a company may be sold to foreigners, and with the permission of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, 40 percent. The voting power of these shares is limited to 25 percent, however. State-owned companies have monopolies in postal and telegraph services (excluding telephones) and the production, import, and sale of alcohol. There are bans on foreigners operating in the fields of cable broadcasting, public entertainment, securities and real estate brokering, private railway service, labor hiring, and private security. There are partial restrictions on foreigners operating in the fields of auditing, legal services, and auctioning. In the


case of banking and insurance, travel agencies, accommodation and catering, aviation, coastal shipping, transportation of nuclear fuel, publishing, and medical or dental services, foreigners may only operate if they establish a limited liability company or partnership for this purpose. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has special regional investment incentive programs for regions other than southern Finland.

Finland is a signatory to the GATT Government Procurement Code. In the excluded sectors, particularly defense, countertrade is actively practiced. Finland is currently seeking to purchase fighter aircraft valued at about $2.5 billion from foreign sources. One hundred percent offsets will be required. Competitive bidding is the rule in Finland.

Finland has a streamlined customs procedure, reflecting the importance of foreign trade to its economy.

[blocks in formation]

The only significant direct export subsidies are for agricultural products (grain, meat, butter, cheese, eggs). At the end of the 1980's, a limited program of interest rate subsidies was initiated to aid sale of Finnish ships facing subsidized EC competition. This led to an agreement for consultations to prevent predatory subsidization between the EC and Finland. A system of guarantees to protect metal engineering exports, principally shipbuilding products, against inflation is no longer used but still exists on paper.

Finland is a signatory to the GATT Subsidies Code.


Protection of U.S. Intellectual Property

Finland has a good record in passing effective legislation to protect intellectual property and in enforcing those laws. Finland and the Nordic group of countries have taken a constructive position on intellectual property in the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations and other intellectual property talks in the international arena.

Finnish patent and trademark laws are similar to those of other Nordic countries. Finland still denies product patent protection to pharmaceuticals, however. Legislation passed in 1987 initiated a transition period to product protection which will be fully implemented in 1997. The first product patent pharmaceuticals will probably not be available until the year 2000.

Finnish intellectual property practices have had a minimal negative effect on U.S. exporters.

[blocks in formation]

The Finnish Constitution contains specific guarantees for the right of workers to form trade unions, assemble peacefully FINLAND


and strike. These rights are honored in practice; trade unions are among the most powerful political forces in Finland. About 85 percent of the work force is unionized. Unions are free, independent, democratic and associate in four federations as well as internationally.

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The right to organize and bargain collectively is protected both in law and in practice. Collective bargaining is generally conducted according to national guidelines agreed between employers, the four central trade union organizations, and the Government. Once the national guidelines are established, contracts are negotiated at the sectoral level between unions and employer organizations. Workers are effectively protected against antiunion discrimination which is prohibited by law.

Forced or Compulsory Labor
Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by the
Constitution and is not practiced.

d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Sixteen is the minimum age for full-time employment (eight hours per day). Children under sixteen may work up to six hours per day. Finland has compulsory education laws. Child labor laws are effectively enforced.

e. Acceptable Conditions of work

Finland has no legislated ainimum wage, but non-union employers are required to meet the minimum wages established by collective bargaining for unionized workers in each sector. The nazinum standard iega: ek weer is 40 hours; in practice most contracts cail Ese standard work weers of 37-38 hours. Finland's health and safety isws are among the strictest in the worii. They are enforced effectiveig, both by government inspectors and activeiy monitored by the unions.

E. Rights in Secoors with u.s. Investment

There is no diference in the agiisation of worker rights between secto:3 wica C.s. istesement and those without,

[blocks in formation]

(D)-Suppressed to avoid disclosing data of individual companies


[ocr errors]

U.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business
August 1991, Vol. 71, No. 8, Table 11.3


Key Economic Indicators

(Billions of French Francs (FF) Unless otherwise stated)

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Income. Production, Employment
Real GDP (FF 1980) 3,437.1
Real GDP Growth (pct)

3.9 Manufacturing (pct)

4.1 Agriculture (PCT)

2.6 Services (pct) (2)

Real per capita Income
Income Growth (Pet)

Labor Force (millions) 24.3
Unemployment Rate (pct) 9.1
Money and Prices
Money Supply (MI)

Base Bank Lending Rate (pct) 11
Savings Rate
(households) (pct)

12.7 Investment Growth corporate (pet)

11.5 CPI (pct, yr erd)

3.5 Wholesale Price : dez 11 Exchange Rate (77/355) 5.33

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« iepriekšējāTurpināt »