Home-grown multinationals like Volvo, Scania, ABB and Electrolux have shaped a research-based ecosystem that attracts companies from worldwide. Foreign-owned enterprises now employ a third of the 600,000 people who work in Swedish manufacturing.
Constant productivity growth and rapid adoption of new technologies put Swedish producers among the global elite. Indeed, Sweden has the highest manufacturing productivity in Europe.
The strength of Swedish multinationals has helped to create a rich R&D environment in which business, academia and government work together. This environment is open and accessible to foreign companies, too.
If you think of Sweden as a high-cost manufacturing location, think again. Unit costs are on a par with, if not lower than, competing nations. Electricity costs are the lowest in Europe and the tax environment is business-friendly. Corporate tax at 22 percent is competitive by EU standards, and other pro-business tax mechanisms are also in place.
Smart industry, smart choice
Increased automation and robotization are making the most technologically advanced countries the go-to locations for manufacturers. Indeed, almost half of all Sweden-based manufacturers have increased their footprint in Sweden in recent years.
As a world IT leader, Sweden is a smart choice for manufacturers wanting to utilize new production techniques. A diverse network of sub-suppliers exists to supply the machinery, tools and parts that will lead this transformation.
Sweden’s highly advanced education system ensures a strong supply of engineers and skilled manufacturing labour. Labour relations are invariably constructive, built on a decades-long tradition of cooperation between employers and trade unions. An efficient, non-hierarchical organizational culture encourages rapid and flexible adaptation to new technologies and business conditions.
Source: Global Manufacturing competitiveness Index, SCB