Sweden Country Brief

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Sweden country brief
Introduction
Sweden is the fifth largest country by area in Europe (449,964 square kilometres) with a population of 9.5 million (November 2011 estimate). The capital of Sweden is Stockholm. Sweden celebrates its National Day on 6 June. Sweden offers access to new products and technologies, skills and innovations, together with access to the Scandinavian market. The World Bank placed Sweden as the third most trade-friendly nation, due to its logistics and connections with international markets. In 2009, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom were the main investors in Sweden. The main industries that received foreign capital recently have been chemical and pharmaceutical.

Political overview
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and has a parliamentary system of Government Sweden joined the EU in 1995, following a referendum in which a narrow 52 per cent of electors voted in favour. However, in a referendum in September 2003 the Swedes rejected joining the Eurozone by 56 per cent. Sweden held the revolving six-month EU Presidency from 1 July to 31 December 2009. Economic overview

The Swedish economy is heavily dependent on a highly developed and internationally successful industrial sector, which was established in the early part of the 20th century through companies such as Ericsson, Asea, Astra, Alfa Laval, SKF, Electrolux, Volvo and SAAB, and now includes more recently established companies such as H&M and IKEA. However, many of the flagship companies are now totally or partially owned by foreign companies and shareholders. There have been several structural reforms since Sweden became a member of the EU such as the deregulation of the telecommunications, energy and air traffic sectors. Inflation has remained low and relatively stable in recent years; at April 2012, the CPI inflation rate was 1.3 per cent. Unemployment has also fallen gradually and stood at 7.1 per cent as of December 2011. Jobs in Sweden

According to the...
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