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From Natural Resources to High-tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland


  • Blomström, Magnus
  • Kokko, Ari


This Paper describes and analyses the evolution of industrial competitiveness in Sweden and Finland in a long-term perspective. One part of the Paper looks at the foundations for industrial take-off in Sweden, with some focus on the development of institutions for the creation and dissemination of the skills and knowledge needed in the emerging industrial sector. Another part narrows the focus and examines the emergence of Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson as market leaders in the high-tech mobile telecommunications industry. The emphasis here is on the transformation of Nokia from a producer of simple raw material based goods to a knowledge-based high-tech company. A conclusion from this Paper is that an industry’s success is a mix of systematic knowledge creation and random technological innovation. The experiences from Sweden and Finland suggest in particular that public policy should provide an appropriate institutional framework to facilitate the sustainable use of land, raw materials, and other resources and promote learning and internationalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "From Natural Resources to High-tech Production: The Evolution of Industrial Competitiveness in Sweden and Finland," CEPR Discussion Papers 3804, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3804

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hailu, Degol & Kipgen, Chinpihoi, 2017. "The Extractives Dependence Index (EDI)," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 251-264.
    2. Walker, M.I. & Minnitt, R.C.A., 2006. "Understanding the dynamics and competitiveness of the South African minerals inputs cluster," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 12-26, March.
    3. Federico Bonaglia & Kichiro Fukasaku, 2003. "Export Diversification In Low-Income Countries: An International Challenge After Doha," Development and Comp Systems 0307001, EconWPA.
    4. William F. Maloney, 2002. "Missed Opportunities: Innovation and Resource-Based Growth in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 111-168, August.
    5. Lydall, Marian, 2009. "Backward linkage development in the South African PGM industry: A case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 112-120, September.

    More about this item


    industrial policy; industrialization;

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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