The Nordic countries are losing their competiveness and a transformation is needed to change direction. We believe that by addressing the workforce gap caused by the aging population and by stimulating the most productive industries, the Nordics could return on a path of healthy economic growth. In 2014, we created the Nordic Agenda, a set of ten recommendations to transform the Nordics for competitiveness and growth. We have now followed up on their progress. The Nordics have slowly started to embark on the agenda, but we feel the speed of change is still insufficient and there is a lot more to be done.
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The development of the Swedish economy, and the country's ability to remain competitive, is largely dependent on how well Sweden can leverage digitization and technology to drive economic growth and job creation. In the early 2010s, Sweden was the world leader in digitization, but while other countries have increased their investments in digital solutions and technology, Swedish investments have stagnated. As a consequence Sweden has lost its digital leadership and is on a negative trajectory in BCGs e-Intensity Index. Changing this current trajectory and re-claiming global leadership must be a national priority. Therefore, it is time for Sweden to launch a new digital agenda, with the aspiration to make Sweden the best country in the world for leveraging digitization and technology to drive economic growth and job creation.
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The Baltic Sea is in a critical state, and eutrophication, caused by excess nutrients in the water is one of the major threats. Measures to limit human-caused nutrient load have been enacted, but progress has been too slow. The future of the Baltic Sea can be improved by a stronger municipal environmental strategy that would also boost local economies and labor markets. For an average municipality in the Baltic Sea region, addressing eutrophication can create €270 million in gross output and 3000 full-time jobs between 2015 and 2030. Within the entire Baltic Sea region, 900 000 jobs could be created by 2030, representing almost 2% of the total labor supply.
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