WEEKLY SITUATIONAL REPORT
BY MIDA STOCKHOLM
28 NOVEMBER – 2 DECEMBER 2005
Unemployment 'down,' job vacancies up
Norway's jobless rate has declined every month
this year and is now only 3% according to state
employment agency Aetat. While there were 72,300
people out of work in November, there were 24,700
new job vacancies (which is up 47 percent from
November last year).
The figures only take into account the people
officially registered as unemployed, seeking
unemployment benefits. Yet, many people who quit
or lose their jobs don't seek state assistance, and
try looking for new jobs on their own.
Exports turn organic
Danish exports of organic goods increased by 12.6
percent from 2003 to 2004.
Danish-produced organic goods are gaining ground
abroad. Exports of organic goods increased by 12.6
percent from 2003 to 2004, reaching a total value of
DKK 267 million (EUR 35 million), according to
Dairy products were especially popular constituting
27 percent of the export in 2004. Meat and meat
products followed with 12 percent, as did Danish
organic coffee, tea, chocolate, spices, cereal and
cereal products, all making up about 12 percent
each of the total export value.
Great Britain, Sweden, and Germany are the biggest
importers of Danish organic products. In 2004,
Denmark exported a total of DKK 85 million (EUR 11
million) worth of organic products to Great Britain,
DKK 52 million (EUR 7 million) to Sweden, and DKK
45 million (EUR 6 million) to Germany.
Swedes top mobile phone rankings
Sweden has the highest penetration of mobile
phones in the world, with more than one handset
per person across the country.
The number of active mobile phones in Sweden has
passed the 10 million mark, outnumbering the
country’s population (9 million) with good margin.
Sweden’s mobile penetration figure of 110 percent
is the highest in the world. Also Italy and the UK
have surpassed 100 percent penetration.
Yet, not everyone in these countries owns a mobile
phone. Instead, many people own one phone for
work and another for personal use.
High cell phone penetration is also reflected in the
existence of multiple prepaid cards and the use of
SIM cards by corporate messaging applications.
Huawei gears for growth
Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies is
aiming to harness Swedish expertise in Internet
telephony and third-generation cellular technology
as a platform for regional growth.
The company has expanded rapidly in Sweden
since establishing a research and development
center in Kista Science Park in 2002.
The Shenzhen-based group today employs 80 staff
and expects to grow substantially next year as the
company expands its sales and research
Huawei’s primary objective is to develop products
to suit the transition from traditional fixed-line
telephony to wireless networks and from second to
third generation cellular networks.
Uppsala gets US pharma lab
American medical equipment company Advanced
Medical Optics is investing US$14 million in a new
laboratory in Uppsala to produce and develop the
eye surgery aid Healon, used as a surgical aid in
cataract removal, corneal transplants and the
treatment of glaucoma.
With the most extensive knowledge about
hyaluronic acid, the basis of their products,
Uppsala also provides access to highly skilled
personnel and a world-leading university.
AMO acquired all rights to the product in 2004 from
US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, which itself
inherited Healon when it acquired Sweden’s
Pharmacia two years earlier.
The new research lab will include chemical and
microbiological research facilities and will employ
Sweden aims to break oil dependency by 2020
Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson announced
the creation of a commission to find ways to end
the country's dependence on oil by 2020.
The eight-member committee consisting of
business executives, energy experts and
professors will present a strategy in its first report
in the first half of 2006.
Finnish economy among the best in euro zone
The economic growth in Finland will be 4 % next
year. If the forecast proves accurate, the GDP will
grow at double the rate of the euro zone.
A favorable trend in wages coupled with low
interest rates has fed private consumption and so
far there is no sign that Finns are about to stop
spending money. Consumer confidence remains
good despite skyrocketing oil prices and various
Last year, Finland's exports grew by as much as
6%, and although it has slowed down since, exports
were still doing better than expected in the first half
Strikes in the domestic paper industry in early
summer considerably cut down the total exports for
the year, but for next year growth in sales abroad is
Finnish economic policy deserves part of the credit
for the good economic growth. Finland is one of
few European countries where the public sector
has remained in surplus over the past few years.
The rate of interest on Finnish government bonds
has gone down a few basis points below its
German counterpart. A situation that was almost
impossible to imagine in the past.
The four per cent growth forecast for next year is
however partly an illusion.
The effect of the strikes will take about one
percentage point off this year's economic growth
and, correspondingly, there will be that much extra
growth next year since the figures for comparison
will be exceptionally low. The 'actual' economic
growth for next year will fall to about 3 % — which
still clearly exceeds the growth rate in the euro
zone following Finland's long-term growth trend.
The paper mill strikes were an exceptional
phenomenon, but Finnish growth figures are also
dependent on its mobile communications sector
that accounts for 7% of Finland's GDP.
It is fairly certain, that even less favorable
production trends at Nokia will not change the solid
pattern of economic growth.
Yet, economists are warning that the poor rate of
investment in the renewal of machinery and
equipment could slow down growth in productivity
and diminish growth.
Nokia: Mobile phone markets grow by 10% in 2006
According to Nokia's estimate, mobile phone
markets will grow by over 10% in 2006 from the 780
million mobile phones Nokia estimates for 2005.
Nokia believes that the mobile phone markets will
also grow in value in 2006. According to Nokia,
mobile phone network markets will grow either
slightly or reasonably.
Nokia forecasts that the number of mobile
subscriptions will exceed three billion in 2008. In
February 2005 Nokia estimated that the limit of
three billion subscriptions would be reached in
Nokia plans to expand its range of 3G phones. The
company has introduced three new WCDMA
devices. During 2005, Nokia has introduced a total
of 56 new models, 15 of which are WCDMA devices.
According to Nokia's President and COO Olli-Pekka
Kallasvuo, the industry will consolidate around a
few key players. It will increase in complexity, as
both devices and customer demands become more
sophisticated. The winners will be the ones that can
master the complexity and offer appealing products
to a broad range of consumers.