Of the five Nordic countries - Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden - the three Interstratos countries Finland, Norway, and Sweden form together a rather homogeneous group of countries. This is due to the long historical interconnectedness of the area with active mutual trade and rather similar national cultures. In 1993, about 21.5 per cent of the total imports of the area came from within the area and 19.5 per cent of the total exports of the area were sold within the five Nordic countries (Norden i tal 1994). The most im portant area for exports as well as imports was the European Union with over 50 per cent share of the total trade of the area. Of course, these figures have changed since Finland and Sweden joined the European Union from the beginning of 1995. Other im portant trading partners include the EFTA countries and North America.