World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Europe

Finland Travelling Guide
Finland Travelling Guide

General background: Ruled by Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and by Russia from 1809, Finland finally won its independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and fend off invasions by the Soviet Union and Germany. In the subsequent half century, the Finns have made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now on par with Western Europe. As a member of the European Union, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.

Area comparative:
Slightly smaller than Montana

Climate: Cold temperate; potentially subarctic, but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic
Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes.

Terrain: Mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills

Population: 5,183,545 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Finn 93%, Swede 6%, Sami 0.11%, Roma 0.12%, Tatar 0.02%

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 89%, Russian Orthodox 1%, none 9%, other 1%

Language: Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities

Government type: Republic

Capital: Helsinki

Legal system: Civil law system based on Swedish law; Supreme Court may request legislation interpreting or modifying laws; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

Economic overview: Finland has a highly industrialized, largely free-market economy, with per capita output roughly that of the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. Its key economic sector is manufacturing - principally the wood, metals, engineering, telecommunications, and electronics industries. Trade is important, with exports equaling almost one-third of GDP. Except for timber and several minerals, Finland depends on imports of raw materials, energy, and some components for manufactured goods. Because of the climate, agricultural development is limited to maintaining self-sufficiency in basic products. Forestry, an important export earner, provides a secondary occupation for the rural population. Rapidly increasing integration with Western Europe - Finland was one of the 11 countries joining the euro monetary system (EMU) on 1 January 1999 - will dominate the economic picture over the next several years. Growth in 2001 was held back by the global slowdown and will likely be anemic again in 2002.

Communication/Telephone system:
Modern system with excellent service

Places of interest: You can ski across vast frozen lakes or relax in a sauna, Finland is a sailing and fishing paradise.

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