What to export to Sweden? This is a question that could open up concrete business opportunities for many Italian companies.

After all, the country is Scandinavia’s largest economy, with considerable development in many key sectors.

Automotive, chemical-pharmaceutical, metallurgy, paper and packaging: these are just a few examples of the country’s most dynamic sectors.

Despite its small size – just over 10 million inhabitants – the Swedish economy has managed to become a global leader. Many productions have allowed companies to stand out for innovation and originality, making Sweden an export powerhouse.

The country’s strategic position in the Nordic-Baltic region makes it an ideal hub for reaching neighbouring countries, thanks also to an efficient infrastructure network.

The country’s vitality is proven by its eighth position worldwide in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in 2019 and industrial growth of 3.8% in early 2020. A trend halted by last year’s crisis but expected to pick up again in the coming months.

The recovery of the national economy, added to the numerous excellences in many industries, can translate into an opportunity for growth also for the many Italian exporting companies. What are the most demanded products and in which areas is there further room for growth?

Esportare in Svezia: immagine della bandiera del Paese a colori

The figures: the evolution of Italian exports to Sweden

Despite the fact that Sweden’s main partners have always been Germany, Finland and Norway – given their geographical and cultural proximity – Italy has also managed to gain an important position in terms of trade with the Scandinavian nation.

This is proven by the data of the Economic Observatory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to which Italy was Sweden’s tenth supplier between January and May 2021. Our country has thus gained a position in the ranking of the nation’s international partners, with a market share of around 3.6%.

After the slump of 2020, companies have shown themselves able to react, returning to exploit opportunities in the region. With a GDP at current prices that could reach EUR 539 billion in 2022, Sweden remains an attractive destination for goods and investments.

What are the most popular products?

What to sell in Sweden: machinery, food and more

Among the most representative products of our exports to the country, it is impossible not to mention machinery and industrial equipment.

With more than 448.5 million euros, these goods represent an essential part of the trade between Italy and Sweden: for example, the large presence here of SMEs active in the automotive and metallurgical sectors represents an opportunity for companies subcontracting mechanical solutions.

The high quality achieved by Italian companies in this field has long been appreciated in Sweden, and there are numerous high-end products that could achieve equally positive results.

Interesting prospects are emerging for food and beverage, with products such as wine experiencing strong growth over the last 10 years. It is no coincidence that beverages were among the few commodities to see an increase in sales in 2020, totalling more than 200 million euros.

For manufacturers with the right organisation, targeting the Scandinavian market could therefore be a good strategy.

Similar considerations apply to furniture, a vital industry for the Italian economy. Although still a minor export item in the Scandinavian peninsula, Made in Italy furniture can stand out for the attention to sustainability and refinement that distinguish our products.

As the Economic Observatory of Foreign Affairs Ministry once again points out, clothing and leather goods have also experienced an increase in sales in recent years – equal to 2.8% between 2018 and 2019 – testifying to an increasingly strong passion for Italian style on the part of Swedish consumers.

Exporting to Sweden is therefore still an excellent choice for companies in many sectors, producing both capital and consumer goods: the dynamism of the country, the vastness of its industrial landscape and the purchasing power of the population are strengths not to be underestimated. All these elements can translate into competitive advantages for companies wishing to grow abroad.


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