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Last Friday December 6th, Finland turned 102 years old. It’s the youngest country of the Nordic Region.

Finland was under Swedish rule until 1809 when Russia beat Sweden in a bloody war and lost Finland to Russia for good. Sweden has not fought a war since. Finland became an independent country in 1917 following the Russian revolution.

Today the Nordic Region is leading the ranks of the happiest countries in the world to live and raise a family.

Why, you ask?

The OECD’s Better Life Index suggests that Finland’s sense of wellbeing may be down to a feeling of personal safety in a troubled world. Finns feel good about their environment, sense of community, public services and education –  but they worry about jobs and housing.

Making a case for the Nordic region

The same applies to all five Nordic countries  – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

The Nordic countries have lot of land and resources (10 times larger than the British Isles), but only 28 million people live there combined (roughly 68 million in British Isles).

Also common for these five countries is the emergence of certain industries, which are very interesting in the world we live in today.

Climate change is real and Nordic countries have taken a leadership role to drive change in the world.

Nordic countries are still beautiful to visit and especially the North (Lapland – Finland/Sweden/Norway) has been attracting many visitors from around the globe to experience the Northern Lights and real winters with snow and sub–20 degree temperatures.

Environmentally conscious

There is much concern about the Baltic Sea, which is the most polluted sea in the world. The main problem is that water does not circulate enough through the Danish and Swedish narrow straits. Many companies and wealthy individuals have started foundations to clean the Baltic Sea with neighboring countries’ help.

Norway is leading the electrical car revolution. It has been heavily subsidizing new car purchases to select 100% electrical cars, not hybrids. Overall, hybrids have become the most prominent newly registered vehicles in the Nordic Region.

There is hardly a market for diesel cars and all gasoline cars are heavily taxed.

Recycling in the Nordic countries is a very highly developed system. Over 90% of all bottles and containers; glass, plastic and aluminum are collected to be reused.

The Nordic region believes that saving the planet starts with our own actions so that future generations can enjoy nature as we do.

Investment opportunities in the Nordic region

In my future columns I will focus on these rising industries in the different Nordic countries. They all have their special interests and I will explain why they are leading global change in their respective industries.

These are some of sectors I will cover in future articles: Recycling, Biotechnology, Clean tech, Green tech, Fin tech, Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Mining, Cyber Security and Green Energy.  I hope you will join me on this Nordic Noir journey.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Raine Lahtinen

Raine Lahtinen

Raine Lahtinen has spent over 25 years in wealth management and trading. His active investment days started when he attended University of Miami 1987-1991 majoring in International Finance and Marketing. He has experienced the highs and lows of the stock markets since the 1987 crash, Dot.com bubble 2001-2002, the 2008 financial crisis and the current record breaking rally.

Since 1995, Raine has been based in Brussels, Belgium in Continental Europe as an international financial advisor and director of investments in various UK IFA firms. He has written many popular columns about markets and investments during his professional life. His passion is finding undervalued listed stocks. As a Finnish native he specializes on Nordic and US stocks.

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