Ministers discuss productivity and fiscal policy in times of crisis

The ministers discussed common productivity challenges in the Nordic countries and shared experiences in relation to national measures and reforms to bolster productivity growth, employment, and growth potential in the Nordic countries. Productivity growth is an important prerequisite for economic growth and prosperity in the Nordic countries. At the meeting, the ministers were presented with the preliminary conclusions and recommendations from the sub-report of the Swedish government’s Productivity Commission. 

It’s always rewarding to exchange experiences with my Nordic colleagues. Our countries have many similarities, both in terms of the challenges we face, as well as in our approaches to solving them. Productivity and competitiveness are key issues for our common prosperity going forwards, and I welcome discussions on this at the Nordic level 

Sweden’s Minister for Finance, Elisabeth Svantesson

Importance of learning from recent crises

At the meeting, Nordic experiences from the economic-political handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent energy and inflation crises in the Nordics were also discussed. This particular topic is the focus of the the report Economic Policy beyond the Pandemic in the Nordic Countries from April 2024, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. In particular, the ministers discussed the role of fiscal policy during crises when it comes to stabilising the economy and supporting households and businesses. They also discussed the long-term fiscal outlook in the Nordic countries in the light of demographic developments. The ministers agreed that it is important to learn from the crises of recent years in order to adapt economic policy in future unforeseen crises.

At the meeting, the ministers reached an agreement on common goals and priorities for Nordic economic and fiscal co-operation through to 2030. The goals form part of a new co-operation programme for 2025 to 2030 to be announced in autumn 2024 in connection with the Session of the Nordic Council.

New Öresund agreement

Finally, the ministers discussed tax policy issues in relation to Nordic integration and labour mobility. The ministers were informed about the new Öresund agreement between Sweden and Denmark, which will be signed shortly. The agreement will make it easier for cross-border commuters and their employers, creating a better functioning labour market in the Öresund region.