Andersson: “Jobs and growth at risk”

There are no winners in the UK’s exit from the EU, according to Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson who wants British guarantees before negotiations can begin on a trade deal.

She also warns for emotional turmoil during the negotiations. “There will need to be adults in the room,” she says pointing out that both jobs and growth are at risk. The UK wants to negotiate a free trade deal alongside the exit negotiations but Magdalena Andersson is sceptical about how realistic this is.

“It is important that the UK meets its financial obligations towards the rest of the EU,” says Andersson, as the UK has obligations of between 50 and 60 billion euro to the EU (between 475 and 570 billion kronor).

The National Board of Trade in Sweden (Kommerskollegium) has calculated that Swedish companies are going to have to pay 2.1 billion kronor in duties when the Brits leave the EU if no new trade deal is in place.

Match for London

The government wants to utilise the British EU exit to attract companies to Sweden. Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson says, “This will be negative for economies in Europe and for Sweden. However there could be potential for a number of companies that otherwise would have made investments or have their head offices in the UK which now choose to move to Stockholm.”

On Monday Magdalena Andersson and Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg met to discuss how Sweden could attract companies from London. Mikael Damberg has already been in touch with a number of Swedish companies and the government is considering increasing its presence in London to attract foreign investors to Sweden.

After meeting with around 50 representatives of Swedish enterprises, Magdalena Andersson said, “It has been important for us to listen to business about what they want to contribute to this process”.

Charmed Modi

Swedish companies are investing big in India: Ikea is to open 25 new stores over ten years, Saab is hoping to negotiate orders for 100-400 fighter jets and Volvo is introducing its hybrid buses in Mumbai.

The Swedish delegation at the India International Trade Fair, Make, expected a two-minute visit from India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, but Sweden’s trade secretary in India, Anna Liberg says, “We got 20 minutes with him, and he has shaken the hand of 10-15 Swedish CEOs and listened to their plans in India. We have made an extremely good impression.”

Volvo’s CEO, Martin Lundstedt, says, “I put forward our message on sustainability, urban development and public transport systems. And he displayed lots of interest in this, which, of course, means a lot to us.”