MARKET: Sweden is a highly developed country with a strong knowledge-based service sector that accounts for approximately 80% employment of the Swedish workforce. Sweden is one of the world-leading nations in research, in areas such as biotechnology, medical innovations, microelectronics, and also has internationally leading companies and technology in areas like ICT (Information Technology & Communication) and green technology like waste management and renewable energy.
Sweden has been the first export market for countless Finnish companies, with good reason. With its population of 10 million people, the Swedish market is almost twice as big as Finland’s. Sweden is close, both geographically and culturally. Neighbouring countries usually have close trade relations. In 2016, Sweden was our second largest export market (10.7%), after Germany (13.1%). Finland is also one of Sweden’s most important sources of direct foreign investment.
LANGUAGE: English is the most widely spoken foreign language, just like in Finland, and international business is widely conducted efficiently and easily using English. But you should still consider language requirements early. To reach Swedish customers (even in B2B sectors), you may need Swedish versions of your website and marketing materials. Language may also be an issue in support services, training and day-to-day customer contacts.
PEOPLE: Almost 90% of the population lives in southern Sweden. The Swedes enjoy an advanced welfare system, often called support ‘from the cradle to the grave’. Based on egalitarian principles, fairness and the Law of Jante. Behaviours in Sweden are strongly balanced towards ‘lagom’ or, ‘everything in moderation’. Excess, flashiness and boasting are abhorred in Sweden and individuals strive towards the middle way.
Seppo Hoffrén Consultancy currently has two consultants covering Sweden and the other Scandinavian markets. We would like to encourage you to use our services to test the market and look for opportunities in Sweden. If you have a product or service with an identifiable and marketable advantage and if you combine it with patience and commitment, you may be able to add your name to the long list of companies that are already trading in Sweden.
Top 10 import partners of Sweden in 2016, by import value (million SEK):