Foreign Direct Investment in Sweden

Overview by

FDI in Figures

FDI flow to Sweden slowed down in 2009, due to the global recession, then recovered with the resumption of trade and this trend should continue. 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 country is preceded only by Ireland, Belgium and Hong Kong in terms of per capita FDI receipt.

The government has undertaken to develop support for investments through expanding 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 5.2 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 6.8 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 6.3 6.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

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 2007 2008 2009
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 27,157 33,704 10,851
FDI Stock (million USD) 292,513 272,146 304,504
Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies 56 39 64
Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies 9 10 -
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 86 86 98
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 30.0 34.4 18.9
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 63.2 55.8 75.0

Source: UNCTAD

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.

Return to top

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 only weak point is the high cost of manpower.
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.

Return to top

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)
Find Investment Service Providers in Sweden on

Return to top

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

Return to top

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.

Find more on about Investing in Sweden.
Read more See less
Experts Views (1)
Hot Tips (1) Go Top
  • Investment Climate in Sweden

    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.

    U.S. Commercial Service Poland on 31 Mar 2010 related to Foreign Direct Investment in Sweden

Post your content


Post content about Foreign Direct Investment in Sweden and you will be listed here to receive requests for offers.

Contact our expert contributors
  • U.S. Commercial Service

    US GovTrade Promotion, the United States

  • U.S. Commercial Service Poland

    U.S. Department Of Commerce, Sweden