More than 300,000 jobs in the Nordic region can be linked to Nordic exports to emerging markets (EM ) and the importance of new growth economies is no longer in question. Emerging markets are expanding at a rapid pace at a time when traditional and developed economies are struggling with the burdens of the financial crisis, increasing debt, rising unemployment and low productivity growth.
The massive differences in growth and growth potential imply that the economic, social and political development globally will be shaped by emerging markets. The rise of the BRIC countries as global superpowers is often referred to as one of the key manifestations of this development although the development is much more fundamental and involves a broader and more diverse group of countries in Asia, South America and Africa.
A realignment of economic activity from the West to the East and the South has huge implications for people, business and governments all over the world. The welfare level in small open export driven economies like the Nordics is already closely linked to the export performance abroad, and the global shift implies that a truly global outlook is becoming an even more important factor for growth and prosperity in the Nordics.
Nordic companies are already well represented in key emerging markets like China and Russia and each Nordic country holds a number of international strongholds in other markets as well. However, Nordic presence is often either associated with a few flagship companies or specific projects and these often have a close link to official development aid programs. Consequently, Nordic presence in emerging markets is not in accordance with the range of business opportunities offered by emerging markets today. More importantly, the current Nordic presence provides a sub-optimal platform for tapping into the business opportunities of tomorrow.