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Sweden and the EU

Latest business news about Sweden and the European Union.

Sweden: country overview
Sweden has the largest population among the Nordic countries and is the third-largest country in the European Union by surface area. Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum. The most important sectors of Sweden’s economy in 2015 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (24.0 %), industry (20.1 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (17.0 %). Sweden’s main export partners are Norway, Germany and the US, while its main import partners are Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.

Sweden country profile
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a highly skilled labor force. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for vast majority of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for about 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for little more than 1% of GDP and of employment. Until 2008, Sweden was in the midst of a sustained economic upswing, boosted by increased domestic demand and strong exports. This and robust finances offered the center-right government considerable scope to implement its reform program aimed at increasing employment, reducing welfare dependence, and streamlining the state's role in the economy. Despite strong finances and underlying fundamentals, the Swedish economy slid into recession in the third quarter of 2008 and growth continued downward in 2009 as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption. Strong exports of commodities and a return to profitability by Sweden's banking sector drove the strong rebound in 2010, which continued in 2011, and the government is proposing stimulus measures in the 2012 budget to curb the effects of a global economic slowdown and boost employment and growth.

EU approves Swedish scheme supporting newspapers
The European Commission has concluded that a changed regime to support newspapers in Sweden is now in line under EU state aid rules.

EU clears Swedish restructuring aid for Carnegie Investment Bank
The European Commission has granted final clearance under the EU state aid rules to the Swedish aid for the restructuring of Carnegie Investment Bank.

Sweden told to comply with EU cosmetics rules
The European Commission has taken further steps against Sweden for infringing EU law on cosmetic products by introducing excessive requirements in the notification of such products.

Commission increases electricity trading capacity on the Swedish borders
The European Commission has adopted a decision rendering legally binding commitments offered by Svenska Kraftnät (SvK) that will increase trade in electricity within Sweden and between Sweden and neighbouring countries.

Mannheimer Swartling
Based in Sweden, Mannheimer Swartling has developed into a leading business law firm in the Nordic region.

Representation of the European Commission in Sweden
Contacts of the European Commission representation in Sweden.

Sweden Investment Climate 2009
Sweden is generally considered to be an attractive country in which to invest. There are few countries that can match Sweden's potential to benefit from the intensifying, technology-driven global competition. Sweden already hosts one of the most internationally integrated economies in the world.

Setting up a business in Sweden
An overview of the process of starting a new business in Sweden.

Access to finance
An overview of the sources of funding available to SMEs in Sweden.

Work programme for the Swedish Presidency of the EU
Sweden takes over the Presidency of the EU on 1 July. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt presented on 23 June the work programme for Sweden's six months in the EU driving seat. It is firstly a question of leading the EU through the financial and economic crisis, dealing with unemployment in Europe and continuing the work to tackle climate change.

Sweden and the euro
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995 and has not yet adopted the euro, but in accordance with the Treaty it will do so once it meets the necessary conditions.

Find an office in Sweden
Instant Offices Sweden

Sweden country profile
Sweden has the largest population of the Nordic countries. The Kingdom of Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995.

Trade in Sweden
General information about business and trade in Sweden.

Invest in Sweden
The Invest in Sweden Agency assists and informs foreign investors about business opportunities in Sweden. Companies planning to establish or expand business operations in Sweden can, free of charge, obtain information and assistance from ISA.

Taxation and Investment in Sweden (Deloitte)
The Taxation and Investment Guides are a first stop for investors wishing to gain a working perspective on the operating conditions and investment climate – including the legal, accounting and taxation framework – in the countries covered in the Deloitte International Tax Source. In addition to the Sweden Highlights and Taxation and Investment Guide, above, country links open the door to the Deloitte International Tax Source and a wide range of materials and information on the tax consequences of doing business across borders.

Business Environment - Sweden
Snapshot of the business environment for the Swedish economy, from the World Bank