Although the Finns continued to place a high value on agricultural and industrial employment, by the 1980s the economy had already entered an era characterized by the development of services. While in 1950 services accounted for only 35 percent of total domestic output, the sector provided over 55 percent in 1985. The postwar development of a welfare state stimulated growth in the state sector, and other activities, such as financial and engineering services, expanded as the economy industrialized. Services traditionally remained insulated from international markets, but during the 1980s the government encouraged the development of service exports and even allowed foreign enterprises to enter such previously protected markets as those in financial services. In line with this liberalization, the government repealed regulations that hampered the working of markets in services, causing the important branches of the sector to become efficient enough to compete in world markets.
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