World Economic Forum - Global Competitiveness Report
For the third consecutive year, Finland emerges as the world's most competitive economy in the annual ranking by the World Economic Forum.
A number of factors contribute, but not the least the commitment to education and research that is there in Finland. It's basic education system is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.
But the Nordic area as a whole is doing well in this ranking.
Sweden keeps its number three position, Denmark moves up from position five to position four, and Iceland from ten to seven. Only Norway slips - from six to nine.
But all the five Nordic nations are in the global top ten of competitiveness.
The others in that exclusive category are United States, Taiwan, Singapore, Switzerland and Australia.
Sweden's ranking is, as usual, one of ambivalence. We are coming were high on topics like Internet connectivity and managment skills in the enterprises, but fairly low on those connected with the politics of the country.
On quality of education in science and mathematics we rank 42 out of 117, on labour market legislation 117, on the tax system 109 and on flexibility in wages 108.
It's fairly obvious that there is a need for improvement - and that it can be done fairly easily.
But overall, the Nordic countries are not only the top of Europe, but very clearly part of the top of the world.