Meatballs and flatpack, Sweden’s biggest exports, right? Not so much. In fact, manufacturing accounts for 77 per cent of Swedish exports and 21 per cent of the country’s GDP. Here, Kirsty McMahon, new client strategist at Stone Junction, explains the key things to keep in mind when expanding your business or your industrial PR activity into the region.

In 2016, the Swedish Government launched its plan to place the nation at the forefront of the smart industrialisation movement. Focussed on digitalisation, sustainable production, creating industrial talent and promoting innovation, the Roadmap for Smart Industrialisation stipulates a wide range of measures to help the sector advance.

Under the umbrella of Made in Sweden 2030: Strategic Agenda for Innovation and Production, government, education and businesses are collaborating closely to achieve these core goals by 2030:

  • To make Sweden the primary choice for developing and producing advanced products and services 
  • Make a career or education in manufacturing a desired choice
  • Have complex systems where virtual and real production processes are integrated for optimum flexibility, resource efficiency and customisation the norm

This strategy has been carefully developed based on an analysis of global mega-trends that will impact Sweden’s economy and challenge its industry. Among the core concerns the region is preparing for is the fact that 60 per cent of the world’s population is predicted to be living in urban “mega-cities” by 2030, with the middle class having increased by almost two billion people, drastically increasing demand for goods and services.

Focus on the digital and engineering skills gaps is also a priority in Sweden because a large proportion of the population in 2030 will be over 65. Ensuring industry can implement the fourth industrial revolution built on connected devices and systems is important, but there is equal focus on creating a human-centred production system. So, while Made in Sweden 2030 and associated roadmaps outline tactics to improve adoption of new technology like robotics and virtual reality, there is an equal balance on human skills development.

Industry in Sweden currently creates over one million employment opportunities, particularly across its core sectors — steel, automotive and chemical manufacturing. Other highly active sectors in the region include industrial machinery and equipment, automation, metalwork and food processing equipment. And, as far as I’m aware, none of these sectors run a flatpack approach… not sure about the meatballs though.

If you need a hand developing your industrial PR strategy to reach a Swedish (or any other) audience, give me or our international team a call on +44 (0)1785 225416 or drop me an email on

Posted In
    Our Clients
    • ABB
    • Finning UK
    • National Grid ESO
    • Renishaw
    • Sandvik
    • Sandvik Coromant