The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country situated in Northern Europe, sharing borders with Sweden, Russia, and Norway. To its west is the Gulf of Bothnia and to the south is the Gulf of Finland. Finland is the eighth-largest nation in Europe and possesses a boreal forest biome. The country is Europe’s 25th most populous with over 5.5 million people.
After World War II, the Finnish people’s way of living had been mining, forestry, and agriculture. However, Finland’s climate has limited its agricultural development to basic products. When it built up strong connections with Eastern and Western European countries in 1980, its economy began to advance. Finland’s free-market economy is highly industrialized with export trading as a major contributor to its GDP. The country is strongly engaged in the manufacturing of wood, metals, electronics, and telecommunication including mobile phones. Its energy resources, raw materials, and other manufacturing components are mostly imported, except for some minerals and timber. Forestry is also a significant export earner that provides jobs for the people in rural communities.
While the country has been one of the leading economies within the EU and its financial and banking markets have stood firm against the global recession, the downturn has affected its domestic and export demand in 2009. The nation’s economy started to progress in 2010 due to the recovery of its domestic trade, exports, and local consumption. However, the global crisis has hit its general government finances, turning its powerful budget surplus into deficits. This deficit is anticipated to carry on in the next few years even with the possibility for growth. Finland is facing a great challenge in executing a post-recession exit game plan that addresses both economic growth and general government adjustment initiatives.
From 1860 - 2002, Finland’s official currency was the Finnish markkaa. It was introduced by the Bank of Finance to replace the Russian ruble. Designed by Aleksander Fadejev, the first markka paper bills were printed by F.O Liewendahl, the Tigmann press, and the Finnish Literary Society press.
Another set of banknotes was issued in 1878 with the 500 markkaa as the largest denomination. These notes were designed and printed in Copenhagen. In 1898, a family of notes with contemporary international motifs that highlight Aleksander II and Johan Ludvig Runeberg was released. These banknotes were equipped with steel engraving, special papers, and special inks. The printing of the paper bills’ front design was done by Bradbury, Wilkinson, & Co while the back was by the Bank of Finland Security Printing House.
In 1922, a new family of banknotes designed by Eliel Saarinen was released. These banknotes were intended to portray classicism, featuring naked people. The first notes that depicted actual specific individuals were introduced in 1955, bearing the design of Tapio Wirkkala. The last series of the Finnish markkaa was designed by Erik Bruun and introduced in 1986.