Sweden - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2022-07-25

The Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland) comprise the world’s 11th largest economy (estimated GDP of U.S. $1.7 trillion in 2021), and are among the most innovative, competitive, and transparent in the world.  Sweden, with a GDP of $627 billion (2021) and a population of 10.4 million, is the largest Nordic economy and boasts a transparent, highly developed, sophisticated and diversified market with few barriers to entry.  Sweden ranks among top 10 worldwide on several competitiveness studies (WEF, IMD).  This is due in part to Sweden’s export-oriented manufacturing sector, competitive small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and budgetary discipline.  Sweden also consistently ranks high for its connectivity, governance, investment in R&D, and business climate.  As such, many foreign firms establish operations in Sweden when looking to enter or expand into the Nordics and/or the Baltics.

In 2021, U.S. merchandise exports to Sweden were valued at $5.1 billion and imports were $15 billion, generating a trade deficit of $9.8 billion.  The U.S. exported $4.95 billion in services to Sweden in 2020 and imported $2.97 billion, generating a trade surplus of $1.98 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. 

Covid-19

Sweden’s national strategy focused on attempting to slow the spread of infection through voluntary public health restrictions, such as social distancing, protecting the elderly, and ensuring its health care system maintains adequate intensive care capacity.  Sweden never mandated the wearing of face coverings, leaving it only as a recommendation in certain circumstances, and mask-use in Sweden is rare.  Primary schools, restaurants, and fitness centers have remained open throughout most of the pandemic. 

The pandemic had a strong impact on the Swedish economy, but following several fiscal stimulus packages, a successful vaccination rollout, and a relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions, Sweden’ economy has recovered fully to pre-pandemic levels with no notable impact on the investment climate.