Sweden has a long tradition of being an expert-oriented country. Our international businesses are important for Swedish employment and for our welfare – today and in the future. But lately, Swedish export has not developed quite as well as we would have liked it to. Sweden can do better. That’s why the government has decided to gather up forces in order to increase Swedish export to the rest of the world. Right now we are hard at work and in constant correspondence with businesses, in developing an export strategy. A strategy that will work as a vitamin injection for Swedish export.

Sweden’s export is a huge one, nearly half of Sweden’s BNP is depending on it, so we can call ourselves a trade-dependent country with ease. But when we see how the export has developed during the past years, we can also see that it has become weaker than the export of our neighbouring countries. In addition to this, nearly 70 per cent of our export has been going to European countries. Much of the world growth will in the coming years be happening outside of Europe. The EU Commission figures that a whopping 80 per cent of the growth leading up to 2020 will occur outside Europe. Therefore Sweden needs to change their trading pattern so that we can establish a presence in the growing markets. We have done thorough analysis and identified which of the countries are wealthy enough, growing enough, and have a market close enough to ours so that our products and services can be relevant and applied.

As the Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, I have named Swedish export as one of my main areas of focus. One of my first decisions was therefore to kick start the export strategy, a strategy has already been fruit bearing in the spring budget about to be passed in Parliament. Another early decision was to name the entire government a patron of Swedish export. I have no less than 23 Ministers of Trade in the government, and many of them have already taken on international patron travels.

The Swedish government has an ambitious goal: in 2020, Sweden will have an increased number of employees, and the amount of worked hours financially so that we reach the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. Sweden’s export of products and services will play a key role in how well we manage to achieve it.

Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation

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