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Stockholm 'one of Europe's richest regions'

James Savage · 18 Feb 2010, 19:11

Published: 18 Feb 2010 19:11 GMT+01:00

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Stockholm came tenth out of 271 regions on the list, which was led by London. Olle Zetterberg, CEO of Stockholm Business Region, the capital's official investment promotion agency, told The Local that the city's success was due to its good business climate. He added that Stockholm might do even better next time:

"Stockholm has weathered the recession much better than many other European regions. We have low unemployment - in fact we have around 75,000 more people in work now than three years ago."

London had by far the highest GDP per capita of any European region in the list, which was compiled using figures from 2007, before the financial crisis plunged Europe into recession. Stockholm's performance put it ahead of Copenhagen, in 18th place, or Åland, in 20th place. Stockholm was beaten by regions including Luxembourg, Brussels, Hamburg, Prague and Paris. The poorest regions on the list were in Romania and Bulgaria.

The figures come on the heels of a survey by fDi Magazine, in which Stockholm was ranked as one of European cities with the brightest economic futures. Stockholm came fourth in the rankings, which were also led by the British capital. The survey rated cities according to economic potential, human resources, infrastructure, quality of life and FDI strategy.

Zetterberg said that foreign investment in Stockholm had continued throughout the downturn, and his organization had assisted in 70 cases of foreign direct investment in 2009.

Many investments had been in the ICT and life science sectors, including Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei, which announced last year that it was to start developing new handsets at its Stockholm base. The company currently employs around 180 people in Stockholm, many of whom are former Ericsson or Sony Ericsson workers.

As well as established clusters in the Life Science and ICT sectors, Stockholm's success in attracting investment had been helped by the region's various local councils and political parties working together on a growth strategy for the region, Zetterberg said:

Story continues below…

"We live in a peripheral location - we're not far from the North Pole. Businesses don't care about local government government boundaries, so we need to work together."

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:55 February 18, 2010 by penpro
I really find these flowery statistics hard to believe. I've been unsuccessfully looking for an IT job in Stockholm for the last one year, after being laid off due to 'arbetsbrist'. May be it's better in other areas but not in ICT.
07:34 February 19, 2010 by asifbit

I think these statistics hope fully be true. I am now living in Malmö and working in Copenhagen. But 3 years ago when I went to Stockholm I was wondered to see the city the exposure of the city is like big cities like London. Whereas I can't see this stuff in Copenhagen even I got job in Copenhagen. Only if person can't find a job it does not mean that a country or city is not good etc. If somebody is not getting job so it means either he/she is not doing sufficient effort to find a job or don't have skills for job etc. I know many people in Malmö who have good IT education but did not do sufficient effort to get job and then they have negative comments about country/city etc.
13:42 February 19, 2010 by bas
"We have low unemployment" - yeah right - bloody fairytale!

I had been umemployed for more than 7 months looking for an ICT job (support, development)....

wrote 60 letters - got 3 replies!!!!!!!!!

so much for low unemployment!

you're absolutely right - penpro!!!
19:06 February 20, 2010 by morchad
@bas almost every job posting in Sweden has a phone number attached of the HR or some person responsible. Did you call any of these???? Hundreds of applications come in for every job almost everywhere. Someone has to go through all the applications.... the people that call and ask questions and sound interested about the job generally get more response (in my experience). Sending in an application and hoping for the best isn't enough. My job is coming to an end soon so I was in Arbetsförmedlingen yesterday, there were more staff there than people looking for work. I'm in ICT too, they were pretty upbeat about helping me find something, if not I'll go do something else
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