Sweden and China share three centuries of friendly and mutually beneficial relations. Our two nations are now in a dynamic phase of deepened and broadened interaction in many different areas.
Foreign trade has played a key role in Sweden's modernization. Swedish companies, large as well as smaller ones, consider the global market as the natural environment in which to succeed. Sweden is ranked as the third most competitive nation in the world according to World Economic Forum Growth Competitiveness Index 2005. Today, China is Sweden's largest trading partner in Asia and Sweden is one of China's largest trading partners within the EU. A group of Swedish companies, including Ericsson and SKF have been represented in China since the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century.
These, and other Swedish brand names like Volvo and ABB are well-known and highly respected. No fewer than 300 Swedish companies are present in China. The presence of Swedish business in China will continue to grow, and so will the economic integration between our two economies. Sweden is at the same time becoming an increasingly interesting arena for investments from China as a base for activities in northern Europe and the Baltic region. Two examples of this positive development are the recent establishment in Sweden of the Chinese telecom equipment corporations Huwawei and ZTE. Additionally, a number of Chinese provinces and cities have opened representative offices in Sweden.
(Source: Embassy of Sweden Beijing)
Sweden is a highly industrialized country with a modern economy. Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade.
Sweden is known for its high taxes and large public sector. According to the statistics collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Sweden has the highest total tax revenue as percentage of GDP of any other ranked country (as of 2005). It's also the only country in the world with a total tax revenue higher than 50 % of GDP.
(Source: CIA World Factbook)