Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.Last Published:11/6/2017
The Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland) comprise the world’s 11th largest economy (estimated GDP of U.S. $1.7 billion), are a powerhouse of well-run economies and one of the world’s most dynamic, competitive, and innovative regions.
The Nordic countries are small, open economies and thus trade-depending countries. Foreign trade constitutes an important part of the economic activity. Nordic foreign trade in goods, measured as the average of imports and exports, amounts to more than one fourth of GDP in the Nordic countries.
Over the past ten years, the Nordic countries had a noticeably larger increase in their gross domestic product (GDP) than Europe in general.
Iceland and Sweden have the highest rate of foreign direct investment activity in the Nordics, both with regards to foreign companies investing in Iceland and Sweden and Icelandic and Swedish companies investing abroad.
Sweden has been one of the best fiscal performers since the start of the global crisis in 2008. Sweden recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 41.60 percent in 2016. Government Debt to GDP in Sweden averaged 50.20 percent from 1994 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 72.40 percent in 1994 and a record low of 36.80 percent in 2008.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Sweden was worth 511 billion US dollars in 2016. Sweden is the largest Nordic economy and represents a transparent, highly developed, sophisticated and diversified market with few barriers to entry.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016, Sweden ranks 3rd in the world in the Networked Readiness Index.
The Nordics rank among the top countries in WIPO’s 2017 Global Innovation Index (Sweden #2, Denmark #6, Finland #8, Iceland #13 and Norway #19).
With export-oriented manufacturing, a diversified economy, competitive SMEs, and budgetary discipline, Sweden ranks #9 on the IMD’s 2017 competitiveness ratings. Other Nordic rankings were Denmark #7, Norway #11, Finland #15, and Iceland #20.
Over 1,300 U.S. companies are present in Sweden, and Sweden is the top location in the Nordics for regional headquarters covering the Nordics and the Baltics.
The U.S. and Sweden share strong ties in trade and investment. Annual U.S.-Swedish trade in goods and services is valued at an estimated $25 billion, and cumulative bilateral investment is valued over $62 billion.
Major categories of U.S. exports to Sweden include aerospace/defense, automotive aftermarket, telecommunications equipment, healthcare/life sciences, information technologies, safety/security, clean-tech, industrial machines and renewable energy.
More American companies operate in Sweden than companies from any other foreign country, creating over 72,000 Swedish jobs.
With strong historical, cultural, and business ties to the U.S., Sweden is a top European market for travel to the U. S. with about 586,000 visits annually (2015), accounting for over U.S. $ 2 billion of benefit to the U.S. economy (2015).
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.