Analysis and Studies - Country Analysis

Sweden: a look at the market

Today, Sweden is a prosperous, environmentally conscious but its history started in ancient times, with the Viking Age, known for exploration and trade, to then develop as a unified Christian kingdom in the medieval period. In 1523, under King Gustav Vasa, it gained independence from the Kalmar Union and a century later, Sweden became a significant European power, but its influence decreased after military defeats in the 18th century. The 19th century brought major reforms, including the abolition of serfdom and a brief union with Norway from 1814 to 1905 and in the 20th century Sweden remained neutral in both World Wars, establishing a robust welfare state, and becoming known for its progressive policies. In 1995 it joined the European Union, integrating itself into the global community.

It is renowned for its commitment to gender equality, reflected in progressive policies and social norms: for example, generous parental leave and subsidized childcare enable both parents to balance work and family life and the income-replacement parental leave policy encourages women to join the workforce before starting a family.

The flag consists in a blue background and a golden yellow cross extending to the edges: it's a symbol that many Scandinavian countries have and is historically connected to Christianity whereas the colors are probably a reference to the national coat of arms.


In 2022, Sweden was the 33rd in total exports with a trade of $194B and the 31st in total imports with a trade of $190B.

Sweden has a high level of specialization in Polymer Ion-Exchangers ($494M), Iron Powder ($492M), Nuclear Reactors ($488M), Non-fillet Fresh Fish ($3.91B), and Kraft Paper ($2.41B).



In 2022 the most exported product of Sweden was Refined Petroleum with a trade of $12.9B, ahead of Cars ($11.9B), Packaged Medicaments ($8.25B), Electricity ($5.83B), and Sawn Wood ($4.76B), with Germany being the most important destination (9.92%), followed by Norway (9.68%), United States (9.18%), Denmark (7.55%) and Finland (6.92%).

This graphic illustrates the diversity of Sweden’s export economy, with distinct primary markets for each product category: for instance, refined petroleum and electricity exports are mainly directed to neighboring Nordic and Western European countries (underscoring its role in energy trade ties), whereas cars have a widely distribution, with a significant focus on the United States. The country’s relationships reflect both strong regional trade within the Nordic countries and its global connections.

  1. Refined Petroleum (6.66%): 23.1% Norway, 17.8% Finland, 13.2% United Kingdom, 8.43% United States, 8.37% Netherlands, 8% Belgium, 7.82% Denmark, 1.87% Germany
  2. Cars (6.16%): 28.5% United States, 8.36% Germany, 7.91% China, 6.77% Denmark, 4.96% Finland, 3.82% United Kingdom, 2.65% Norway, 2.6% Belgium, 2.37% Japan, 2.03% Poland
  3. Packaged Medicaments (4.26%): 15.6% United States, 11.7% Germany, 8.01% China, 7.32% Japan, 4.18% Italy, 3.88% Norway, 3.52% Canada, 2.25% Denmark, 1.68% Finland, 1.52% Egypt
  4. Electricity (3.01%): 30.1% Finland, 23.4% Denmark, 16.7% Lithuania, 11.6% Poland, 9.35% Norway, 8.78% Germany
  5. Sawn Wood (2.46%): 19.2% United Kingdom, 11.4% United States, 8.32% Japan, 7.92% Norway, 7.67% Netherlands, 5.9% Egypt, 5.51% Denmark, 5.19% Germany, 3.72% China, 2.47% Poland, 1.85% Morocco, 1.78% Belgium, 0.08% Finland

Whereas the most imported product was Crude Petroleum ($14.2B), Cars ($9.84B), Refined Petroleum ($8.81B), Broadcasting Equipment ($6.44B), and Motor vehicles; parts and accessories ($5.66B), with Germany being the major source (15.8%), followed by Netherlands (10.2%), Norway (9.31%), China (7.15%), and Denmark (7.15%).

Sweden's trade dynamics reveal a strong reliance on imports of crude petroleum and other high-value goods, underscoring its significant trade relationships within Europe and with major global economies like the US and China.


The country depends heavily on European nations for raw energy materials, particularly from Norway and the UK. Germany plays a crucial role in Sweden's automotive sector. This highlights Sweden's interconnected trade network with neighboring Nordic countries and important international partners.

  1. Crude Petroleum (7.46%): 63% Norway, 13.7% United Kingdom, 10.5% Nigeria, 8.89% United States, 2.07% Libya, 1.26% Russia, 0.17% Denmark
  2. Cars (5.18%): 32.9% Germany, 25.2% Belgium, 6.24% Czechia, 4.91% South Korea, 4.41% United Kingdom, 1.66% China, 0.22% Denmark, 0.13% Norway
  3. Refined Petroleum (4.64%): 31.2% Netherlands, 21.1% Finland, 14.6% Norway, 10.8% Denmark, 3.26% Germany, 2.73% Belgium, 2.23% United States, 1.98% United Kingdom, 1.58% Poland
  4. Broadcasting Equipment (3.39%): 45.4% Netherlands, 10.1% Poland, 10.1% Vietnam, 7,76% China, 4.29% Ireland, 2.81% South Korea, 2.71% Denmark, 2.59% Germany, 1.27% United States, 0.53% Norway, 0.33% Belgium
  5. Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (2.98%): 24.5% Germany, 11.4% Poland, 6.63% Czechia, 6.48% Netherlands, 4.78% United Kingdom, 4.1% Belgium, 3.45% China, 3.03% Norway, 1.57% Denmark, 1.23% United States

Between 2021 and 2022 the country which saw the fastest growth in exports was the United States, with an increase of $2.49B, followed by Norway ($1.48B) and Finland ($1.47B).



  1. United States: from $15.3B to $17.8B
  2. Norway: from $17.3B to $18.7B
  3. Finland: from $11.9B to $13.4B

Whereas the fastest growing importer was the Netherlands, with an increase of $3.99B, ahead of Norway ($3.88B) and the United States ($1.92B).




  1. Netherlands: from $15.3B to $19.3B
  2. Norway: from $13.8B to $17.7B
  3. United States: from $5.17B to $7.08B