December 2014

Savvy Sweden offers plenty of pleasurable pursuits

by Jeff Heilman


  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MFG/2015/0115/Sweden1.jpg


    Nybroviken, Stockholm



  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MFG/2015/0115/Sweden2.jpg


    Gothia Towers, Gothenburg



  • /Portals/0/images/articles/MFG/2015/0115/Sweden3.jpg


    Turning Torso, Malmo


In 2010, the U.S. partnered with the Swedish Ministry for Enterprise, Energy and Communications to form the Swedish-American Green Alliance, or SAGA. Promoting trade, research, investments and knowledge exchange in three specific industry tracks—green building, green infrastructure and sustainable transportation—the agreement exemplifies America’s priority focus on “economic statecraft” with Sweden, or diplomacy driven by strengthening commercial ties.

It’s a pact with references back to 1783, when the nations signed a treaty of Amity & Commerce, and Sweden became the first neutral nation to officially recognize the newly independent American republic. Today, the U.S. remains a top partner in Sweden’s export-oriented market economy.

Powered by R&D;, innovation and globalization, Sweden’s winning business profile includes abundant natural resources, superior engineering and manufacturing know-how, and a stable, well-diversified base in cleantech, IT, gaming, life sciences, automotive and other sectors. According to May 2014 figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden ranks sixth globally for venture capital investments as a percentage of GDP, with North American institutional and private equity players, newly bullish on a resurgent Europe, especially active. Read last month’s New Yorker to learn about Sweden’s influence on global pop music, too.

Sweden is the preferred Nordic headquarters and European gateway for many U.S. companies, its rapidly maturing MICE industry, concentrated in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, presenting much corresponding opportunity for U.S. groups. Offering an open and welcoming business climate, superior communications and transportation infrastructure, and Michelin-rated dining among many off-agenda pleasures, it is a destination worth discovering.


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