During a courtesy meeting with a delegation from Partit Laburista, Malta Chamber...
Stockholm, the capital of Stockholm, is spread across 14 islands known as the Stockholm archipelago. As many as 30% of the Stockholm’s total area is connected through waterways and it has been long established as a political, economic and cultural hub of Sweden.
Stockholm is the largest city of Sweden and is also considered to be one of the most innovative and knowledge-intensive regions in the entire world. It is also Sweden’s financial centre and is also known as the Capital of Scandinavia.
Stockholm is also moving forward in terms of having well developed infrastructure to serve its increasing population which is expected to reach 150,000 in the next two decades. There are lots of smart solutions for rail, road and public transport that connects the city to other parts of Europe. Apart from the infrastructure, Stockholm also boasts the largest labor market in the entire Sweden. Stockholm has a workforce of more than one million people.
Stockholm is a natural choice and an ideal location to start a business in Scandinavia. It alone accounts for a major share of both economic as well as consumer activities in the Northern European region. Its cosmopolitan energy and a nature of attracting skills, ideas and capital and an excellent quality of life really makes it one of the preferred destinations to invest not only in the European Union but also in the entire world. Also, the foreign investment policy practiced by the Swedish government can prove beneficial to foreign investors in many ways.
Stockholm ranked 6th most competitive knowledge economy in the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index 2008. It is the economic center of Scandinavia and has the largest GDP in the region. It has the second best climate for entrepreneurs and is also ranked as the best regions to do business in the entire world.
The bigger than expected GDP growth of Sweden has left positive trends in its capital city. Stockholm is going to benefit heavily from this positive trend. The National Institute of Economic Research (NIER) has predicted that the GDP growth of Sweden is expected to touch 5 per cent.
By setting up a business in Stockholm investors are able to tap the large and prosperous Swedish as well as the Scandinavian and the European markets. All these really make up to a staggering 500 million consumers.
The Growth Regional Product (GRP) of Stockholm is highest among all the Scandinavian capitals. In the last two decades, Stockholm ranked 9th among all the OECD countries in terms of attracting FDI. The FDI magazine also ranked Stockholm in the list of top investment destinations. The several measures taken by the local government of Stockholm helped attract as many as 71 qualified FDI projects in the city which alone accounted for half of the entire foreign investments made in Sweden.
The Stockholm economy is mostly service based economy. There are loads of investment opportunities in sectors such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Life Sciences, Financial services and Automation and Cleantech. Other sectors worth investing in Stockholm include Hospitality, Logistics, and Construction. However, one major sector that really stands out and is worth investing in Stockholm is the life sciences sector. This is mainly because of the fact that the city is known for adopting sophisticated technologies and is a pioneer in research and innovation.
As per the World Bank, Stockholm is one of the easiest places to set up a new business. The macroeconomic policies carried out by the Swedish government are really responsible for this. The Swedish government has enacted advantageous legislations and has created a favourable tax climate. The Corporate Tax in Sweden is low as compared to other Scandinavian countries and this has benefited Stockholm as there is no inclusion of local corporate tax. It also provides some tax exemptions on intra-group dividends, no-thin capitalization rules, fully deductible interest payments, capital gains.
There are also no low withholding taxes on dividends. These were some of the tax incentives which are offered by the Swedish government to investors. Apart from these, the local government of Stockholm is also taking necessary steps to promote foreign investment in the city. To promote more foreign investment in the city as many as 50 Stockholm municipalities have entered into unique business collaboration.
The government of Sweden offers lots of tax relief to foreign employees. This helps the companies to attract labor that is highly skilled. The Swedish government levies a tax on the companies based on its annual profits and does not include local corporate tax or license tax.
The Stockholm Business Region Development (SBRD) is the official agency responsible to promote foreign investment in Stockholm. The agency provides assistance to corporate investors and gives information about the business opportunities prevailing in the Stockholm region. They provide practical assistance free of charge to companies who want to set-up or expand their business in the city.
A financial hub of the Scandinavian countries, an investor friendly local as well as national government, low corporate tax rates, tax incentives and a positive trend, all these features really makes Stockholm one of the best places to invest not only in Europe but in the entire world. Foreign investors who want to expand their base especially in Europe should definitely consider the strategic location of Stockholm.
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