A HOST of Swedish firms are targeting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to increase exports to offset the slowdown in the European markets, and the government is taking proactive measures to tap the potential for growth in the MENA markets.
The government is offering all possible assistance to its SME sectors as it wants these smaller firms to make it to the big stage. Sweden is one of the most export dependent countries in the world and export is crucial to its standard of living. Half of Sweden’s GDP is generated from export “We are looking at markets such as Qatar, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, the UAE etc to increase our exports as there is tremendous business opportunity for our companies, Sweden’s Minister for Trade Ewa Bjorling told Qatar Tribune in Stockholm recently.
She said the government has taken various steps to promote Swedish business houses in the region and She herself has toured the MENA markets to identify business opportunities for Swedish firms.
According to the Trade Minister, the two challenges that the government has on its priority is to undertake measures to making small and mid-sized companies growing internationally and secondly grow on expanding markets while maintaining a strong position in mature markets.
Estimates from the Swedish Trade council reveals that Sweden’s exports to the Mena region is on the rise and it increased to 160 percent since 2000. Statistics also showed that the UAE has the most Swedish establishments while Saudi Arabia is Sweden’s largest export market.
When asked about the government’s recent announcement to cut corporate tax, Bjorling said “This is to improve the conditions for new jobs and investments in Sweden. The significant lowering of corporate tax is expected to strengthen the investor climate and growth in Sweden.”