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Business Opportunities in the U.S.

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The U.S. is a diversified world market and offers business opportunities in all types of industries. For Swedish companies, however, the following industries are most promising: industrial manufacturing and equipment, health care, ICT, automotive, and energy and environmental products.


The U.S. healthcare and life science market is large and growing, with more being spent on health care per capita (8608 SEK), and more on health care as percentage of GDP (17.2%) than any other nation in the world. Major components of the industry include medical devices, pharmaceuticals, primary/hospital care, and diagnostic tools and equipment. While regulatory hurdles remain with the FDA and a private/public insurance reimbursement system, the market represents an unparalleled business opportunity.

As a large and dynamic market, the U.S. healthcare market features a number of critical challenges, which can be translated to unique opportunities for Swedish companies. Some of these challenges include ensuring accessible and cost-efficient care through the Affordable Care Act, a focus on infection control, particularly hospital-acquired infections, care for the increasing population of elderly individuals, unsustainable growth of lifestyle/preventable diseases, and rising levels of adoption of e-Health measures.

IT and Telecom

The market for wireless products in the U.S. exceeds 931 BSEK, and the country dominates the world's IT industry, with nine of the ten largest software companies and seven of the ten largest hardware and IT service companies. Users tend to drive progress towards new applications and services with a focus on mobile access to various types of enterprise applications.

Even within traditional telephony, cable TV and internet access, the U.S. stands apart. However, the mobile solutions and systems are not always as developed as in Europe and East Asia. The market potential for Swedish companies in the telecom sector is therefore large, as there are large upgrades in progress to newer infrastructure systems. There is also an increased interest in security solutions for both IT systems and wireless LAN (WLAN) in U.S. companies and government agencies.

Energy and Environmental Technology

The U.S. accounts for largest share of the global environmental services market, nearly 40 percent. The market for environmental products and services is estimated to be worth approximately $278 billion per year. Areas of big interest have been the markets for green building, sustainable transportation, water and wastewater and energy efficiency. The market for equipment and water treatment has been the biggest market accounting for 36 percent of global revenue.

The construction industry for green building is growing in popularity and becoming more widespread. The U.S. lacks a national green building code but Federal buildings are required to obtain LEED Silver/Gold accreditation or Green Globe equivalents. Top performing green states include California, New York, Illinois, Texas and the District of Columbia. Green building grew with a CAGR of 20% between 2008 and 2013, and the number of LEED certified buildings is expected to continue to grow in upcoming years.

Business Sweden has since 2011 worked within the Swedish-American Green Alliance (S.A.G.A.), where areas mentioned above have been explored by Swedish companies through different types of activities throughout the years.

TRANSPORTation and Automotive

The U.S. economy relies heavily on different transportations systems, including well-developed railway, freight, air and highway systems to varying degrees. Railway serves as the preferred mode for freight transportation yet is relatively undeveloped on the passenger side, while road and air transportation are responsible for nearly all passenger travel. Continued investments in infrastructure for the world’s largest trading nation are expected, including 8 BUSD in high-speed rail projects through the year 2029. Among other growth areas, the automotive market has regained its strength and is forecasted to maintain steady growth in the coming years, with high growth in the electrical vehicle segment, as sales are projected to grow over 15% annually to 2023.

Security and Defense

On the security side, including civil security and defense, the U.S. government is by far the world’s largest spender with a 2014 Department of Defense budget of nearly 500 BUSD. Within cyber security in particular, the US government is expected to increase its share by 20% to 5 BUSD, while traditional defense areas are subject to ongoing political debates.

With extensive market experience, Business Sweden can assist security focused-companies in a variety of areas including projects focused on market analyses, regulation analyses and meeting programs.


The U.S. oil and gas market is characterized by the presence of large, diversified international companies with highly vertically integrated operations throughout oil exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing. Most SMEs are suppliers to one of the major prime contractors. Since the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology, U.S. oil production has risen to 7.4 million barrels per day and is expected to reach levels of 9.6 million barrels per day by 2019.

In recent years, the U.S. oil industry has experienced many innovative techniques to provide for America’s energy needs, including building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, building offshore drilling platforms, and using hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to vastly increase oil production.

Retail and Consumer Products

The United States is the largest single country market in the world when it comes to retail apparel, with market figures 30 times larger than Sweden. Coupled with steady growth rates year on year and an increasing awareness of Swedish and European fashion trends, prospects for Swedish retailers are strong. Major urban centers like New York are hubs for innovation and opportunity, and Sweden’s rich design history has been brought to the forefront of American mainstream retail. 

Business Sweden has seen a growing interest specifically in areas like children’s and baby’s clothing, alcoholic beverages, and niche retail products, as consumer tastes become increasingly particular. Leveraging local market knowledge has never been more important to creating and implementing successful businesses.