Swedish companies lag behind in China

Swedish companies have failed to exploit the growing Chinese market, according to the Swedish Trade Council's chief executive, Ulf Berg. Exports to China are rising, but not enough.

“Other countries’ exports are rising faster. And if you’re increasing at a slower rate than the market, that means you’re not really keeping up,” said Berg.

Last year, Swedish exports to China rose to 19bn kronor and imports rose to 22bn. That makes China Sweden’s twelfth biggest trading partner. There are currently 400 Swedish companies on the ground, many of them involved in the telecoms industry.

Berg believes there should be significantly more there, including small and medium-sized enterprises. He sees potential in practically all sectors, but regards environmental technology as having particularly good prospects.

“The environment is already a problem in China and that problem will only grow with the current massive expansion.”

Berg is concerned that countries such as Germany, UK, USA and France are far more advanced in their trade with China and suspects a major reason is the geographical distance and language difficulties.

“China is huge. It’s a shame that we’re not in there competing. It’s significantly harder to enter the market later on than at the beginning.”

Berg’s advice in short is: book a ticket. Now.

TT/The Local