Hard to attract inward investment

Sweden and other EU countries are finding it hard to attract overseas investment. The cash is going to growth economies such as China and India instead, according to a report on global investment by the UN's trade organisation, UNCTAD.

Direct investment in the form of corporate acquisitions or the establishent of new operations in other countries, increased last year to US$648bn. Investments to developing countries increased by 40%, whilst those to the industrialised world were down by 14% on the preceding year.

Sweden received 12.5bn kronor in overseas investment last year. But according to figures from the Riksbank, Sweden received a net sum of nil krona in inward invwestment during the first half of this year.

The falling trend in overseas investment in Sweden started towards the end of the last millennium, when Zeneca’s acquisition of Astra meant there was a record influx of cash. The figures are also dragged down because of the many internal transactions between parent companies and their subsidiaries.

UNCTAD’s report also states that the downturn in inward investment to EU countries is partly due to loan repayments. Last year’s decrease was not as great as in previous years, possibly indicating that the bottom has been reached. Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have been the worst hit EU countries.

TT/The Local