Main Swedish business sectors
Published: 15 Dec 2009
From iconic Ikea furniture to affordable H&M fashion and the building expertise of Skanska, Sweden's business sectors cover a wide range of industries. The largest private sectors include cleantech, information and communications technology (ICT), life sciences, automotive industry and materials sciences. Public sectors such as health care and forestry also employ a large number of people.
Logotypes of major Swedish companies.
Swedish public sector
The municipal and county councils are the largest employers in Sweden. In the near future, they will need to recruit 75,000 to 80,000 new workers. Jobs in the public sector as a whole represent about 30 percent of the Swedish labor market. Common lines of work within the public sector are health care occupations such as nurses, doctors and dentists, and educational occupations such as teachers, along with administrative and cleaning personnel.
Home to several vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo Group, Scania and Saab Automobile, the Swedish automotive sector is known for its environmental awareness and intelligent design, making Sweden ideal for any manufacturer of greener, safer and smarter vehicles.
Sweden is a world leader in clean technologies and applications. From established industry leaders such as heat pump producer NIBE Heating to relatively new start-ups like wave energy specialist Seabased, Swedish firms are gaining worldwide recognition for solving environmental issues.
Sweden is Scandinavia's central hub, and Stockholm is home to Scandinavia's largest stock exchange, Nasdaq OMX, as well as regional head offices for many multinationals, such as Citibank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Bank.
Information and communications technology
With the presence of big names like Sony Ericsson and TeliaSonera, Sweden is one of the most advanced nations in ICT. In recent years, products like Skype, Spotify and Voddler have shown the world the continuing successes of Swedish IT innovators and entrepreneurs.
Home to distinguished biotech clusters, six medical universities and a number of groundbreaking innovations, the Swedish biotechnology industry is Europe's fourth largest.
Materials sciences affect virtually every product, increasing functionality and energy efficiency — a natural fit for Swedish innovation, seen in companies such as Tetra Pak.
One of the strongest in Europe, Sweden's retail industry, with international companies like Bauhaus and Zara, has shown positive growth during the last 14 years. Some 120 foreign retail chains are present in the country.
Travel and tourism
Tourism is Sweden's fastest growing industry sector. Sweden is among the top 10 best countries for tourism in the world, according to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 from World Economic Forum.
This feature has been published by the Swedish Institute.