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Nokialand
by: Nicolas Fogelholm

I guess you haven't heard of NokiaLand before? The naming NokiaLand has to do with the worlds biggest handset manufacturer Nokia and Finland, the country it comes from.

Nokia

Nokia has not always been a world leader in cell phones, digital technologies, telecommunications networks, wireless data solutions and high tech gadgets like the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. Some 100 years ago the company was manufacturing paper, toilet paper, galoshes, tires and raincoats.

Finland

Thanks to Nokia Finland has become one of the fastest-growing and most prosperous economies in Europe. And Nokia phones have a dominant market position on its home market. This is why Finland is sometimes referred to as NokiaLand.

In the 1980s Finland was best known for its paper and pulp industries and long dark winters. At the same time Nokia made the decision to shift its company focus from timber, tires, and rubber boots to mobile phones. Good move - today the company sells more phones than any other company in the world.

The Nokia success story had an enormous impact on the finnish economy. Nokia increased the finnish GDP by more than 1.5 percent in 1999 alone. In 2004 Nokia's share of the Finnish GDP was 3.5 percent and accounted for almost a quarter of Finnish exports in 2003. More than 20,000 people are employed by Nokia in Finland which is roughly 2 percent of the people in the Finnish business sector. Also several tiny companies such as Perlos have grown into large ones as Nokia subcontractors.

As Nokia's profits grew, the Nokia share price increased and this also created a large number of new very rich households in NokiaLand - thanks to Nokia.

The President

Believe it or not there was a secret plan some 5 years ago in NokiaLand to put Jorma Ollila, CEO of Nokia as president of Finland. This did not work out, but if it had we surely would have had our NokiaLand. The story was revealed when Sauli Niinist published his memoirs this summer. He writes that he had asked Jorma Ollila, the chief executive of Nokia, to run for president in the 2000 presidential election. According to Mr Niinist, Mr Ollila pondered over the matter when Niinistö made him the offer in the spring of 1999. As we all know Mr Ollila didn't go for it!




 



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