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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Additional SEK 800 million to increased exports

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Compared with other countries’ export growth, it is clear that Sweden can perform better. Of Sweden’s exports, 70 per cent go to the EU internal market. Trade with our closest neighbours is very significant and important to our economy. But trade in the internal market must be supplemented so that Sweden as an export nation does not lose market shares.

Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation
Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, launches the Swedish export strategy. Photo: Gabriel Wernstedt/Government Offices of Sweden

After the downturn that followed the financial crisis in 2008–2009, recovery in the area of exports has been slow and in recent years, domestic consumption has been the growth engine of the Swedish economy. In light of this, the Government has produced an export strategy with measures to strengthen the export and internationalisation opportunities of Swedish companies in important markets, and to increase the number of exporting companies.

Yesterday, Mikael Damberg presented Sweden’s new export strategy.

Through the export strategy, the Government addresses the challenges facing Swedish foreign trade:

  • Swedish exports must have better access to growth markets;
  • more small and medium-sized enterprises must be willing and able to export;
  • Swedish goods, services and systems must come even higher up in the value chain;
  • Sweden’s attractiveness for investments, expertise and tourists must increase; and
  • global trade must be kept open.

The export strategy contains initiatives in 22 prioritised areas, based on the needs and wishes expressed by large companies as well as SMEs. It includes providing export support on the ground in growth markets, of ensuring that more companies are aware and make use of the export support available, and that Swedish companies win major business contracts and procurements around the world. But the Government is also taking a broader approach, with initiatives to increase tourism and foreign investments in Sweden, to make Sweden better known outside of Europe and to attract foreign talent in education and research to Sweden. At the same time, work against protectionism is continuing.

The export strategy is to help achieve the Government’s overall objective of Sweden having the lowest unemployment rate in the EU by 2020. The strategy’s objectives are to:

  • increase exports, both in absolute figures and as a percentage of GDP;
  • increase Sweden’s attractiveness for investments, expertise and tourists;
  • increase the proportion of exporting companies; and
  • increase the participation of Swedish companies in the global economy.

To ensure that implementation of the measures begins in 2015, the Government allocated SEK 75 million to an export campaign in the spring amending budget. The Government has allocated SEK 150 million for 2016, and a total of SEK 800 million until the end of 2019.

The export strategy was drawn up in dialogue with the Swedish business sector. It contains initiatives to encourage more Swedish companies to enter new markets, to increase exports and a presence in growth markets, to facilitate global trade and to promote Sweden’s attractiveness for investments, expertise and tourists.

“Strong exports are necessary to increase employment in Sweden. But our exports have lost ground in comparison with other countries, and we must reverse this trend. There is a risk of Swedish companies missing out on large portions of the expected growth around the world. This is why the Government is now taking action to increase Sweden’s presence in tomorrow's export markets,” says Mr Damberg.

Contact

Ann Wolgers
Press Secretary to Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00

Facts about the 22 measures:

•Team Sweden – better coordination of export support
•Increased Swedish presence in growth markets
•Regional export centres – a gateway to export advisory services
•Digital export information – ‘a single portal’
•Strengthen the will to export
• Financing and granting credit
• The biggest business contracts
• Transition from aid to broader economic cooperation
• Increased exchange with international organisations
• It should be easy to import and export
• Simplify cross-border eCommerce and data flows
• Promote the mobility of persons to and from Sweden
• Invest in international standardisation
• Identify export and import problems and trade barriers
• Raise the level of ambition for sustainable enterprise
• Increase interest of foreign companies in investing in Sweden
• Companies that are innovative and internationalised early on
• Strengthen the image of Sweden abroad
• More visitors to Sweden
• More attractive to talent
• Compete for global events
• More direct flights to and from Sweden