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Nordic model is ‘future of capitalism’

23 марта 2009

The world should consider adopting the Nordic approach to capitalism and learn from the region’s response to its financial and economic crisis in the 1990s in the attempt to stave off recession, according to the chairman of two of Europe’s biggest companies.

Jorma Ollila, chairman of Nokia, the mobile phone maker, and oil major Royal Dutch Shell, said the Nordic style of capitalism was characterised by openness to globalisation balanced by strong government programmes to protect people from its excesses and an egalitarian education system.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Ollila said: “What is the future of capitalism? In one way or other the answer is to solve these issues that the Nordic model does well. These are the ingredients. The Nordic model has a good bid [to be the best system]”.

His views carry weight as he is one of Europe’s leading businessmen after 15 years as chief executive of Nokia, which he turned from a struggling Finnish conglomerate into the world’s largest mobile phone maker. He is also head of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), a Who’s Who of nearly 50 of the most prominent business leaders on the continent.

He said Nordic politicians in the 1990s showed “a lot of wisdom” and did not resort to protectionism while taking risky decisions. Companies, including Nokia, restructured heavily and made themselves highly competitive, said Mr Ollila.

He expressed hopes that policymakers today would follow a similar path. “It would be very much on my wish list for Europe,” said Mr Ollila. “You don’t look at how good you are yourself but you look at the world as a whole.”

If politicians failed to resist protectionism, there was a “serious” chance that the world could slide into economic depression, he argued.

Government measures to solve the crisis had had little impact on the real economy as the situation had not improved since November, when the ERT first sounded the alarm on the desperate situation for many suppliers and customers of large industrial groups.

One of the biggest concerns of the ERT was the potential damage to globalisation and the European Union’s internal market. Mr Ollila said Nordic countries had learnt to share the risk of globalisation with the general public and show “social solidarity” with people affected by it: “As we have now seen, it is a risky proposition opening yourself up to globalisation.”

Источник: Financial Times

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