Sweden is 1 of Europe’s most advanced industrial economies
and has 1 of the highest standards of social welfare in the world.
It also boasts a relatively large number of world class multinational
companies (Volvo, Ericsson).
A prolonged period of peace, which included a policy of neutrality
during both World Wars, has donated much to its economic
development. Over half of Sweden is covered by forest,
supplying raw material for the wood based industries, wood pulp,
paper, and finished products such as furniture, which account for
20 per cent of Swedish material exports.
Most of Sweden’s agriculture is concentrated in the south
and central regions and produces vegetables, meat, dairy products
and cereals. The agricultural and fisheries sector is, however,
fairly insignificant today, accounting for just 2 per cent of Gross
Domestic Products (GDP).
The country has a strong industrial sector which
produces a number of major exports including office and telecommunications
equipment, vehicles, wood products, iron and steel and chemicals.
Sweden is rich in mineral resources, which include
15 per cent of the world’s known uranium deposits and large
deposits of iron ore, zinc, copper and lead.
Lacking fossil fuel deposits, Sweden has large nuclear power and
hydroelectric programmes, which meet over 80 percent of its energy
Sweden was a long term member of the European Free Trade Association
(EFTA), which linked most Western European economies outside the
European Union, before it ultimately joined the EU in 1995. However
there is a strong Euro sceptic current, and so far the Swedes have
refused to join the Euro zone, most recently at
a national referendum in September 2003 (despite the support of
the national government).
Domestic economic policy has been largely concerned with making
the labour market more flexible and with addressing Sweden’s
bulky government debt . The economy was in recession
between 1999 and 2002, but is now slowly improving.
Current annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is 1.6 percent,
and this is expected to increase during the next 2 years. Both unemployment
and inflation (2.2 and 4 per cent respectively) are close to the
EU average. Sweden’s main bilateral trading partners are the
UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway and the USA.
In Sweden, business people are expected to dress smartly.
English is broadly spoken in business circles. Punctuality is essential
for social and business occasions and business cards are frequently
Working hours are flexible, with lunch from
12.00 am to 1.00 pm.
The following association can offer advice:
Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Address: Box 16050, 10321 Stockholm
Telephone: (8) 5551 0000
Facsimile: (8) 5663 1600
Website address: www.chamber.se
There are also chambers of commerce for other key towns and regions
The main venues are in Gothenburg, Stockholm
and Malmö, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council also
lists 2 in Lapland.
The Globe Arena in Stockholm can cater for up to 5,000 persons,
there are also other venues in the city that can seat up to 3,000
persons. Elsewhere in Sweden, most venues have facilities for
200 to 500 persons (although Gothenburg and Malmö have capacity
For more information contact:
Stockholm Visitors Board
Address: PO Box 16282, SE-103 25 Stockholm
Telephone: (8) 508 28500
Facsimile: (8) 508 28510
Website address: www.stockholmtown.com
Gothenburg Convention Bureau
Address: Mässans Gata 8, SE-412 51 Gothenburg
Telephone: (31) 615 200
Facsimile: (31) 811 048
Website address: www.goteborg.com
Malmö Congress Bureau
Address: Centralstationen, SE-21120 Malmö
Telephone: (40) 342 204
Facsimile: (40) 342 211
Website address: www.malmo.se
Or contact the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council for more information
(see Contacts section).