Sweet on Sweden
On the lookout for a new location? Think Sweden. Sweden’s economy improved much earlier from the global recession in comparison to other European countries, so a move to the Nordic region should be top of your business agenda. In 2010, the World Economic Forum identified Sweden as the second most competitive market and economy, out of 133 examined, and the Central Bank estimates there will be a 2.3% increase in GDP for 2012. Read on to find out the reasons why an investment in Sweden would be a smart business move.
More specifically, think the Gävleborg County in Sweden – a region of excellence. Gävleborg is located on the Baltic Sea coast, providing great access to this vibrant region and also easy access to the EU and Russia. The county, with a population of 280,000, extends from Hudiksvall in the north, to Gävle in the south. Gävle is the capital of Gävleborg, and is located just 200 km north of Stockholm, offering close transport and economic links to the Swedish capital. The Port of Gävle is a very active container port, with frequent freight routes to Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Geographically, it is a prime location for business expansion. It profits hugely from this strategic location and incomparable road, rail and sea infrastructure that makes commuting effortless. Your business will be close to the thriving domestic and Scandinavian industry, but also the world’s largest free-trade market – the EU – with 27 countries on your doorstep.
Gävle has developed into a busy, modern and dynamic city by the sea with an estimated 92, 000 inhabitants. It offers a clear gateway to Stockholm, Arlanda Airport and the Baltic markets.
Whatever your business motivation, Gävleborg has a varied, wide-ranging economy that is ripe for investment. This incorporates both highly motivated trades that are customary to Gävleborg, such as steel, forestry, engineering and paper, and contemporary industries, such as Cleantech and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Sweden is at the forefront of the ICT industry and has been a leader in this industry for years. The region also has an impressive record of timber production, forestry and tourism companies, and a strong cultural heritage It plays host to both international companies and small independent businesses. Don’t lose out on this great opportunity.
Innovation is hugely encouraged in Gävleborg and advice and financial support is actively granted. Numerous regional industry-specific innovation and Research & Development clusters such as Fiber Optic Valley and Future Position X are already established. Movexum, a business incubator, can help turn your innovative business ideas into a reality. It offers access to expertise; business connections and financial support for your company. Furthermore, business parks in Gävle, Sandviken and Söderhamn allow for meetings and get-togethers to encourage innovation.
However, the forestry and steel industries are the key economic sectors in this region, with a strong history of these trades in Gävleborg. Stora Enso has reaped huge benefits from putting down business roots in Gävleborg. Stora Enso was the result of a merger of the Swedish mining and forestry products company Stora, and Finnish forestry products company Enso-Gutzeit Oy. It obtains much of its wood from Sweden, Finland, Europe and Russia. This international company’s success story is not a fluke. Other world-famous companies such as SolarWave AB, Ovako Steel, Korsnäs, Modo and Ericsson have also taken advantage of this region and its prime business opportunities. Make sure your company does not miss out.
What financial support and government incentives are in place to entice Foreign Direct Investment into the Gävleborg region? Regional investment grants, employment support and a special social insurance-related tax breaks are available to businesses eager to invest in the area. Sweden is also one of the most competitive countries for corporate taxation in Europe. Currently it has a 26.3% corporate tax rate, but this is being cut next year to 22%, to attract FDI, generate new jobs and stop businesses from leaving the Nordic region’s largest economy. Other tax incentives that assist FDI include a tax law that states that profits of a Swedish division of a foreign company can be sent abroad, and are only subject to regular corporate income tax.
Gävleborg has a highly skilled workforce, with the University of Gävle, a young and flourishing university, educating up to 13,000 students.
Sweden entered the European Union (EU) in 1995. This move has enhanced the investment climate and enticed foreign investors to the country. Invest in Gävleborg, an agency that actively promotes FDI, recommends, steers and unites international companies with specific business opportunities in Gävleborg. They offer comprehensive, one-stop investment consultancy services, that won’t cost your company a krona. Additionally, ALMI, a company that promotes the development of competitive small and medium-sized businesses, provides financial support and advice, so your company won’t be left wanting.
Gävleborg has a highly skilled workforce, with the University of Gävle, a young and flourishing university, educating up to 13,000 students. The university bolsters the regional workforce by enticing numerous foreign students to the region. As an integrated part of the Swedish economy, Gävleborg offers an excellent corporate infrastructure. It has one of the highest productivity levels in Europe and employees with excellent linguistic skills. However, in comparison to the rest of Sweden, Gävleborg offers lower labour and living costs, which spell success for any business. Given its relatively small population; Gävleborg has a whole lot to offer!
But enough on the commercial reasoning behind why you should consider this part of the world – Gävleborg also offers a great quality of life and a range of things to do when you are not working like skiing, sailing, fishing, and a variety of music and theatre options. Gävleborg offers a rich cultural life and endless opportunities for leisure and entertainment. Working and living in Sweden means being part of a valuable society with a vibrant atmosphere. The housing, education, social welfare, and health care systems are first-rate, and Sweden offers a great work – life balance. Gävleborg aspires to become climate neutral by 2050, already generating a large amount of its energy from renewable sources, recycling approximately 97% of domestic and industrial waste and promoting sustainable forms of transport. What is not to like?
Ready for a change of scene? Gävleborg has great infrastructure and accessibility, with all the benefits of being part of a first-class EU country, but with lower costs compared to other Swedish counties. Put your business on the map and expand into Gävleborg, where opportunities are waiting. So what are you waiting for?