One year ago during Almedalen week, a group made up of Ramböll, FS Links, Setterwalls law firm, a number of consultants and the US company Hyperloop One, presented plans to build a hyperloop high-speed transportation network, linking the Finnish capital Helsinki to Stockholm.
According to FS Links Mårten Fröjdö, the Swedish government has since been in contact with the group’s consultants, but Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson says she is unaware of this. While the government is interested in following developments and receiving an idea of the investment cost, Johansson considers a hyperloop network theoretical at the moment, although it could be of interest in the future. The minister says the government’s focus is instead on the plans to build a high-speed rail network, linking Sweden’s three main cities.
In Finland, meanwhile, the group has plans to make the city of Salo home to the first test station for the hyperloop technology.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced plans to make Stockholm a new infrastructure region for its cloud computing services by 2018. The IT giant will establish three data centres in Västerås, Eskilstuna and Katrineholm, all of which are within easy reach of the capital.
Start up companies such as iZettle, King, Mojang and Supercell as well as Ikea, Nokia, Scania and Telenor use AWS to help them run their businesses, reports DI.
Darren Mowry, Nordic manager for AWS, tells DN that Stockholm and the three towns have an infrastructure that suits the company, and the region is one of few in the world with such a concentration of talent. The company has also taken on board the fact that renewable energy sources account for 53% of the Swedish energy production.
Innovation and Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg is optimistic, believing the move could create up to 200 jobs, and will place Sweden at the fore in the development of the digital economy.
DN lifts a warning finger, however, remarking that Amazon is infamous for its tax planning. According to DI Digital, in 2015 AWS reported a loss and paid zero kronor in taxes in Sweden. Darren Mowry assures DN that the company will “of course” pay all taxes required by law.
At least 270 cruise ships carrying a total of 650,000 passengers will call in at Stockholm this year, generating revenues of SKr 600 million. This is a significant increase on last year, and there are a number of reasons why, according to Henrik Widerståhl, deputy MD at Ports of Stockholm. The Swedish capital has become an attractive destination at the same time as cruise tourism is taking market share. In addition, the Mediterranean security environment has led some shipping lines to reroute to the Baltic instead.
Regional planners expect the population of the Greater Stockholm region to grow by 17 per cent, or by 380,000, between 2015 and 2025. The region is projected to have a population of 2.6 million by 2025.
Up to 250,000 new homes are to be built, and a number of the municipalities in the region are expected to undergo a radical change.
Bjoern Kjos, the boss of Norwegian, has talked for a long time about making Stockholm’s Arlanda airport the hub for the budget airline’s long-haul flights to Asia, on the assumption that Norwegian will be able to fly over Russia.
Mr Kjos has urged the Swedish government to negotiate a new fly-over agreement with Russia, since Sweden, Norway and Denmark’s present agreement really only applies to SAS.
“If the Swedish government wants a major hub in Stockholm then they can have one. But we must also be allowed to fly over Russia. The Swedish government appears to be interested, but Denmark and Norway prioritise SAS more,” he tells SvD, suggesting that the government should be bold enough to sidestep its Scandinavian neighbours in order to create thousands of new jobs in the Stockholm region.
A weekend has passed since the UK voted to leave the EU and the unexpected result has begun sinking in amongst investors. The USA stock exchanges fell 3-4%, London by 3.2% and around Europe the markets fell between 6 and 13%.
Sweden’s public holiday on Friday meant the Stockholm index avoided the immediate chaos on the stock market. However trade is expected to be intense today and the initial drop could be around 4%.
Nasdaq decided to call a state of emergency on the derivatives market before opening on Monday, a measure last taken after the Lehman crash in 2008, to facilitate trade continuing as usual during the current circumstances. Joakim Bornold, economist from Nordnet, says, “This sends a very strong signal from Nasdaq and shows concern about how the market will look on Monday.”
Hoping to attract more airlines to the region, airport operator Swedavia is to invest more than half a billion kronor in new office premises at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. A total of 15,600 square metres of office space will be available from 2017-2018.
Some SKr 123 billion will be invested in Arlanda in the coming years. Approximately 22,000 people already work in and around Arlanda and the airport creates more than 1,000 jobs annually.
With Stockholm predicted to be one of the fastest-growing capitals in Europe, investment must be made to ensure that Arlanda grows as an airport, Swedavia CEO Torborg Chetkovich says.