With a long history of egalitarianism, fair welfare and peace, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a system of high-tech capitalism heavily oriented toward foreign trade. No wonder why Sweden is also the easiest and most efficient country in Europe to start new enterprises in, with lower bureaucracy and quicker processing times. Making business can become a pleasure here, in the Nordic country par excellence.
An open and modern business environment welcomes foreign investors who wish to expand a business in Sweden. Skilled professionals, smooth business procedures and receptivity to international partnerships make Sweden an easy country to operate in. This does not mean you can chill on your sofa watching your business running smoothly. On the contrary, competition may be fierce. At least however, you can forget the red tape stress: information is readily available, open and transparent. Every operation, from starting a company to closing it, in Sweden is quick and straightforward. Information about the process and necessary forms are readily available online and in English.
Sweden with its 9 million people and 450 295 km² is one of the less densely populated countries in Europe. There is a higher density population in the southern half of the country, with about 85% of the people living in urban areas. Sweden’s geographical location, right in the middle of the Scandinavian Peninsula, makes the country an economic hub to reach the Danish, the Norwegian and the Finnish markets. Sweden has a modern distribution system and excellent internal and external communications.
Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of the economy. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. The main industries include motor vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and forestry. The largest trade flows are with Germany, United States, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland.
International companies starting a business in Sweden often praise the quality of local advisors and business partners. The strengths are talent, technology and massive investments into research and development (over 3.5% of the GDP).
Sweden joined the European Union, but opted out from the eurozone in a referendum, keeping the Swedish krona as local currency. Stockholm is the capital and the largest city. Other centres are Gothenburg, Malmö, Uppsala and Västers. The official language is Swedish and most of population have a good command of English.
Education (IT and educational material aimed at children with special needs)
Food and Drink (innovative and niche products; private label, new ethnic foods, health, organic and convenience food)
Renewable Energy (wind power and fuel cells technology)
eHealth (follow up systems to handle patient journals, IT portals for patients, health-coaching, process and implementation support, consumer driven healthcare and performance care systems)
Security (wireless systems for CCTVs and detectors, intruder alarms, passage alarms and fire alarms)
Nanotechnology (research in nanoelectronics, nanomaterials and bionanotechnology, development of conductive polymers)
Textile and clothing (production and manufacturing techniques, e.g. spinning, weaving, knitting, non-woven fabric manufacture, felting, dyeing, printing, finishing and ready to wear; new materials, ladies wear and sportswear sub-sectors, fashionable clothing for the middle-aged)
Tourism (visitors volumes and international visitor revenues is expected to double by 2020. Examples of investments are available on the Invest in Sweden agency’s website)
Sweden’s capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city in the country (population of 1.3 million in the urban area and with 2 million in the metropolitan area). The second and third largest cities are Gothenburg and Malmo.
The Swedish industry is modern, quality-orientated with advanced technology, continual product development and a strong environmental awareness. The industry is highly international, in the supply of base materials, product adaptation, product collaboration, marketing and export.
Therefore, Sweden can be a hard market for UK companies to crack. Competition is fierce, products need to be cutting edge, after-sales service needs to be a serious part of the package.
Services provided in Sweden: