(Country Focus. 11. June 2004.
In the 1990s, Finland became one of the most technology-intensive economies in the world. The main stimulus for this development came from the leading mobile communications company Nokia, which in the peak year of 2000 contributed 1.6 percentage points to overall GDP growth of over 5%. Nokia has also been one of the main reasons that total R&D expenditures have grown by annual average rate of 8% between 1999 and 2003, when Finland exceeded the 3% of GDP reference value for R&D expenditures. Finnish technology policy had started to move towards information technology in the 1980s when the government established the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland and the National Technology Agent, Tekes, in order to co-ordinate the planning of policy on innovation and expertise and provide funding. Recently, the contribution from Nokia to GDP growth has shrunk in the face of increased competition and saturation of markets in the western world. Nevertheless, the share of the ICT sector has remained over 10% of GDP in the current decade due to strong performance in other areas of the sector. This progress should ensure that ICT sector will keep its powerful role in the Finnish economy in the future.