Sweden Business

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Energy industry

Sweden has no significant oil and coal reserves; Oil, coal and natural gas have to be imported. The energy sources biomass, wind and water power, which make up around 40% of the primary energy supply, are of domestic origin. Since all available rivers have been developed – four rivers in the north are protected – a further increase is no longer possible. Sweden had built or planned four nuclear power plants with a total of 12 units in the 1970s when it was decided in 1980 to complete the planned plants, but to shut down all units by 2010. In May 2005, Barsebäck am Sund across from Copenhagen was the first nuclear power plant to be shut down with the shutdown of its second unit (the first was shut down in 1999). 2017 or In 2015, Unit 1 and Unit 2 of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant were shut down. In February 2009 the Swedish government decided to revise the exit decision from 1980 and to push ahead with the replacement of old reactors. The nuclear waste will initially be stored in an interim storage facility at the Oskarshamn plant; a final storage facility is planned in the granite at the Forsmark plant in Uppland. The 8 remaining reactor blocks provided around 34% of the electricity generated in 2015 (hydropower around 47%, heat 8%, wind and other renewable energies a good 10%).


In the industrial sector (including construction) (2015) around 20% of the workforce generated 26.6% of GDP. The country’s industrialization took place much later than in other European industrial countries. Within the industry, there has been a rapid change to higher-value branches, so the textile and food industries have declined sharply. Iron and steel production is now concentrated in two state-of-the-art factories in Oxelösund and Luleå. The high-tech and internationally interwoven wood and paper industry has fallen behind and is concentrated in Småland, Lake Vänern and the coasts of northern Sweden. The leading position in terms of the share of GDP is occupied today by mechanical engineering and vehicle construction, while shipbuilding, which used to be so important, has now been almost completely given up. The electrical and electronic industries are almost as important; the chemical and pharmaceutical industries follow.


Sweden has a relatively small but highly technical agricultural sector. In agriculture (2015) 2% of the workforce generate 1.4% of GDP. Although only around 7.5% of the land area is used for agriculture (2.6 million hectares of arable land, 5,000 permanent crops, the remaining area is permanent grassland), around four fifths of the population’s food needs can be met with this area. The main focus of agricultural use is in Skåne (there the agricultural area takes up 50% of the area) and in the central Swedish depression, in northern Sweden there are only contiguous agricultural areas on the coast and in the river valleys. In addition to the favorable climate, the reasons for this are the soils: in Skåne there are easily weatherable Mesozoic rocks, the other agricultural areas were covered postglacial by the sea, which left fertile clays. Sugar beet, wheat, barley, potatoes and oats are grown. The main livestock are pigs (1.4 million) and cattle (1.6 million).

Forestry: Forestry, along with the downstream wood processing industry, is one of the most important branches of the economy. Sweden has a significant share in the world pulp production. Productive forests cover an area of ​​around 22 million hectares; in addition, there are still 8.5 million hectares of forest areas not used for forestry purposes. This makes Sweden one of the most densely forested countries in Europe. 50% of the forests are privately owned, 37% are owned by public limited companies with state participation, the rest by the state, parishes or the church. The annual logging is around 69 million m 3, of which 8.6% are used as firewood. Forest policy activities were significantly intensified in the 1980s: various laws restrict forest management, stipulate reforestation, thus protecting the existence of the forest and maintaining the basis of the Swedish timber industry. As a result, the impact has been less than the increase for decades.

Fishing: Most of the fishing is carried out on the west coast. The – declining – catch volume is (2013) 191,500 t. The fishing industry is less important in Sweden than in the neighboring Nordic countries.


Sweden has a well-developed transport network, although it is thinning towards the north and inland. High-speed trains have been operating between Stockholm and Gothenburg since 1990. Today they connect the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Jönköping, Karlstad, Gävle and Sundsvall.

The rail network is 11,900 km long and around two thirds are electrified. In 2000, a fixed connection was established across the Sound and thus, for the first time, a fixed connection for road and rail traffic between Denmark and Sweden. The Lapland Railway is important for transporting iron ore. In order to keep the roads (length of the road network: 578,300 km, of which 1,927 km are expressways) passable in winter, considerable expenditures are necessary. The island of Öland is crossed by one of the longest road bridges in Europe (across Kalmar Strait) connected to the mainland. As part of the expansion of the Swedish motorway network, the 700 m long bridge over the Svinesund, border fjord to Norway, was inaugurated in 2005. Sweden is connected to the rest of the Baltic Sea as well as Denmark and Norway by numerous rail and car ferries. Visit watchtutorials.org for Swedish destinations.

The merchant fleet is one of the most modern in the world. Since a large part of the fleet is flagged out, Sweden does not appear in the ranking of the leading shipping nations. The most important sea ports are Gothenburg, the Brofjorden oil port on the west coast and the Trelleborg ferry port. The most important inland port is Karlstad, which can also be reached by seagoing vessels via the Götaälv and Lake Vänern. Inland shipping is insignificant, rafting has been discontinued. The Göta Canal, which connects the west with the east coast, is now used for tourism.

Sweden has an efficient network of airports. The main international airports are Arlanda and Bromma (Stockholm), Landvetter (Gothenburg) and Sturup (Malmö). In addition to the SAS – Scandinavian Airlines System, there are also numerous smaller airlines.

Sweden Business

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