Based on sophisticated technologies and on careful specialization, machine building was an essential complement to other industries, but it was growing slowly by the late 1980s. Employing about one-third of the metalworkers, the sector concentrated on such product lines as sawmill and papermill machinery and mining equipment. By the late 1980s, Finland had captured about one-fifth of the world market for papermaking equipment, and it led in selected metal-processing technologies. The branch also had increased its capability to produce cranes, lifts, hoists, forklifts, and cargo-handling vehicles. Another strong point was agricultural and forestry machinery, including tractors, combines, and logging machines, of which Finland was the largest producer in Nordic Europe. As Finland's economy matured, however, investment in capital goods declined, forcing the sector to search for markets abroad. Although Finnish equipment enjoyed a strong reputation abroad, demand for the country's specialties was limited.
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