Sweden and the United Kingdom share a longstanding and robust trade, investment and business partnership. Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, approximately 1,200 Swedish and Swedish-affiliated companies have established a presence, with many more engaging in exports from Sweden to the UK. Each year, Business Sweden in the UK actively supports over 50 companies in evaluating, entering, and expanding within the UK market.

Opportunities for Swedish companies 

The UK offers many opportunities across diverse industries and a supportive environment for start-ups and scale-ups to flourish. Swedish companies not only find ample opportunities to conduct business but also leverage the UK as a springboard for global expansion. In sectors such as Defence and Security, Energy, Healthcare and Life Science, Technology, and Transport, where Swedish firms can significantly contribute, Business Sweden maintains extensive networks for support.

On the bilateral front, Sweden and the UK signed a Strategic Partnership in 2023, outlining six key areas for enhanced cooperation: Trade and Investment, Security and Defence, Science and Innovation, Energy, Nature and Climate Change, Global Cooperation, and People-to-People relations. For Swedish companies active in the UK market, this Partnership serves as a strategic guide, facilitating engagement with pertinent stakeholders and guiding activities effectively.

Possible challenges

Swedish businesses view the UK as a pivotal reference market for global activities. However, as highlighted in our interview with Trade and Invest Commissioner and Country Manager Gustaf Bergström, Swedish companies face challenges navigating the ongoing readjustments post-Brexit.

How we can help

Business Sweden (the Swedish Trade and Invest Council) has maintained a presence in the UK since 1973. Our team of 14 professionals forms part of a global network exceeding 500 experts across more than 40 markets. Business Sweden offers a wide range of consulting services, including Market Expansion, Sales Acceleration, M&A, Public Affairs, Supply Chain Management, Business Incubation, and Operations, as well as Government-Enabled Services such as Invest Promotion, Business Delegations, Events, and Trade & Invest Facilitation. In our London office, we also provide strategic advice and operational support for businesses interested in the Republic of Ireland.


Gustaf Bergström

Market Area Director NEA and Trade Commissioner & Country Manager, United Kingdom & Ireland
What are the main advantages for Swedish companies considering expanding to the UK?

The UK offers several key advantages for Swedish companies looking to expand internationally. Geographical proximity, substantial market size, and relatively low entry barriers have historically encouraged many Swedish businesses to establish a presence in the UK, with some maintaining operations for over a century.

According to our annual Business Climate Survey, Sweden maintains a robust brand reputation in the UK, bolstering the ‘Swedish brand’ and positively influencing business outcomes. In a global and competitive environment, Swedish companies often view the UK as a benchmark market for their activities, products, and services, leveraging its dynamic business environment. Moreover, many see the UK as a strategic launchpad for expanding into other global markets.

What are the risks and challenges Swedish companies may face in the UK?

Since the UK departed from the European Union and its single market and customs union, Swedish companies have encountered significant adjustments in trading requirements for the UK market. These changes include new trade barriers and customs regulations, adversely affecting their operations in the UK. At Business Sweden, we specialise in assisting companies in navigating this evolving landscape, utilising our London office and Trade Facilitation experts based in Stockholm headquarters to provide tailored support.

What specific opportunities are there for Swedish companies present in the UK?

Following the establishment of a Strategic Partnership between Sweden and the UK, Business Sweden welcomes a clear roadmap for strengthened bilateral cooperation. Key areas include Trade and Investment, Security and Defence, Energy, and Science and Innovation, among others. Additionally, heightened geopolitical tensions globally and in Europe will likely create opportunities, particularly in Security and Defence, bolstered by Sweden’s recent NATO accession. Furthermore, Sweden’s international leadership in the green transition presents an opportunity for Swedish innovative companies to showcase their sustainable solutions in the UK market.

Get in touch
Phone +44 20 7258 5130 Email Gustaf Bergström isolated.png