Swedish authorities unveiled a new economic plan Monday that seeks to stimulate trade and increase exports, the Local reported. The country will look to export to North American and Asian markets in an effort to jump-start its stalling economy, said Mikael Damberg, minister of enterprise and innovation for the Scandinavian nation.
Sweden has long been considered one of the most successful European economies, with unemployment down to 6.4 percent and gross domestic product per capita at around $46,061 in 2014.
Over the past several months, however, Sweden's traditionally export-driven economy saw a dip as export numbers throughout the summer were lower than usual. Sweden's engineering sector accounted for 50 percent of output and exports alone, according to Trading Economics, and in July, total exports were down to 87.8 billion Swedish kronor, or $10.4 billion, in August, down from nearly 110 billion kronor ($13 billion) in April.
"The weak development of the Swedish export worries me," said Damberg, according to the Local. "We need to [work with] regional and local actors to get more international investment to Sweden," he added.
The government allocated 795 million kronor ($93.8 million) to stimulate Sweden's presence in global markets over the next five years. Sweden is looking to expand to North American and Asian markets in particular with some of its famous companies like Ikea and Spotify, Damberg said without indicating whether this would entail building additional branches or exporting more from Sweden directly.
A weak Swedish currency has made it easier for the nation to export to other countries, and economic authorities in Sweden hoped that would play in their favor.
Sweden already has begun expanding to markets in Asia, such as India, where 160 Swedish companies operate and bilateral trade was at nearly $2.5 billion, according to a Sept. 6 report in the Hindu Business Line, an Indian newspaper. "When it comes to Swedish companies, they have a long-term view on India," said Anna Ferry, head of section trade and economic affairs for the Swedish Embassy in India, as reported by the Hindu Business Line.