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5 Things To Know About Finland: Ranked As The 2nd Best Country In World To Do Business

According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published this year Finland is the safest country in the world with the least organised crime

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A walk down the Finnish capital Helsinki's roads, especially around its tourist spots, brought to life my childhood days. Stories of Santa came alive. Santa stories are alive in Finland all year round because Lapland, Santa's home, is partly in Finland. This northern country though is not only Santa's sanctuary but it is known to be one of the most evolved and progressive societies in the world and an extremely creditworthy business destination. Forbes has ranked Finland as the second best country in the world to do business. Finland beats Switzerland, the USA, Germany and even its neighbour Sweden when it comes to ease of business. Some factors in particular make the country an increasingly coveted business destination.

Currency and Languages
Finland is a parliamentary republic and has been a member of the European Union since 1995. It was a founding member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and adopted the Euro as its currency in 2002. Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages in Finland. Finnish, the most widely spoken language, is spoken by 92% of the population. 6 % of the population speak Swedish while 0.75% speak Russian, making Russian the largest foreign language minority in Finland. English is spoken widely and well among all generations facilitating ease of business for foreign conglomerates and investors.

Stability and safety
According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published this year Finland is the safest country in the world with the least organised crime. Added to this, the Legatum Prosperity Index of the Legatum Institute extrapolates the country also has the best governance in the world. This makes the country stable, safe and sound - an environment that is perfect for business to thrive.

Attitude and Temperament
Finns are modest people, with a very matter of fact attitude and they appreciate modesty from others. In both work and social conversation, they tend to get straight to the point. They will not meander or beat round the bush. They are a personable, even tempered and helpful people without any tenor of fuss or drama. being incredibly honest in their dealings, they expect the same from others. Trust once betrayed with a Finn can't usually be redeemed.

Gender Equality
Finland is the second most gender equal country in the world according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index 2016. It is a very open and equal society and women are generally viewed as being equally capable as men just as men are seen as equally competent as women and this includes household chores too! This pervading perception of equality between the genders is evident in professional and personal spaces.

Cleanliness and hygiene
One of the foremost striking things about Finland as you emerge from the airport is its air. It is so clear and crisp that it has a crackle in it. A welcome respite especially for Delhi entrepreneurs! Three fourths of the country is forest. Canopies of forests and 190,000 lakes cover Finland. Pollution is really nonexistent. Public transport is compact, super clean, extremely efficient and very safe. Many people end up cycling and using public transport in their daily commutes helping keep pollution levels incredibly low!

Public restrooms are spanking clean everywhere - and this includes coaches, ferries and trains. This becomes all the more commendable when put in the context that public restrooms can be unisex in places. For foreigners this can be strange but Finns expect fullest respect to, and adherence of, their uncompromising standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Dr Priya Virmani

The author is a political and economic analyst, a writer and a social entrepreneur. She contributes to print, radio and television. As a TED speaker and an international speaker, she gives talks on disruptive economics, politics, psychology and entrepreneurship. She is the Founder of Paint Our World, a children's charity

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