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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Sweden | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

FDI flows to Sweden slowed down in 2009/2010, due to the global recession, and the country experienced disinvestment in 2010. They recovered in 2011. but remained low in 2012-2013, a trend which should continue. According to the UNCTAD 2013 World Investment Report, Sweden is the 12th largest world investor country and the 20th largest recipient of FDI. It is also among the countries receiving most FDI per capita in the world. Despite the unfavorable international situation, the country maintains a high level of appeal to foreign investors because of its multilingual and qualified workforce, its very high per capita purchasing power, its economy at the forefront of new technologies and innovation and its advantageous tax regime. The government has undertaken measures to develop support for investments through expanding important sectors (biotechnologies and food processing), as well as on rapidly growing markets (Baltic countries, India, Brazil, etc.). There are gaps in the food processing field, as well as in the housing and interior design sectors.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Sweden OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 6.3 6.1 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 12,92416,3348,150
FDI Stock (million USD) 347,524364,667378,107
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 99--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 31--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 796252
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 12.916.47.7
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 64.869.667.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Sweden

Strong Points
The political and economic situation is very favorable and the quality of the business environment is good. This environment favorably influences the way companies behave in making payments. The average probability of defaulting is very low.
According to the World Bank, Sweden is amongst the world's first 10 economies in terms of facility of business undertakings. The survey takes into account the following indicators: the formation of one's own company, hiring and dismissing employees, executing contracts, loan availability, registering one's capital and investor security.
The Swedish tax system is direct and corporate tax is amongst the lowest in Europe. The country applies contribution exemptions, authorizes total tax deductions on interest, and does not have strict capitalization rules.
The legal system is balanced and ensures sound, transparent and reliable hearings. Contracts are standardized and documents are often used for simple procedures, especially for mortgages.
The quality of management and consultancy services is very high, and commercial formalities and procedures are easy to undertake.
For further information, consult the ISA website.
Weak Points
The country's weak points are the high cost of manpower, rigid labor legislation, high individual tax rates, and overall high costs in Sweden.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Since it joined the European Union, the Swedish government has established a number of reforms to improve the business legal environment. This has enabled it to attract foreign investors and increase competitiveness.
Sweden is ranked n° 1 by the OECD in terms of public spending, especially in promoting investment.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Sweden
To see the list of countries, click here.
To see the conventions, click here.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
It takes two to three weeks once the Swedish Company Registration Bureau has received the written application.
Acquisition of Holdings
Taking a majority holding in the capital of a Swedish company is allowed. Click here.
Obligation to Declare
The investment promotion agency in the country gives information about the authorizations necessary for setting up.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
The Swedish Company Registration Bureau (Bolagsverket)

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Sweden on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA)
Almi Foretagspartner
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Sweden
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources

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Learn more about Investing in Sweden on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014