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Country Reports

Sweden Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

According to IHS Markit's latest forecast update, growth is expected to stand at 2.0% (up from 1.6%) in 2019 and 1.5% in 2020, compared to 2.4% both in 2018 and 2017. Given a notably stronger-than-anticipated real GDP gain in the final quarter of 2018, we raised our 2019 growth projection in the March update. The main driver of growth in 2019–20 is likely to be consumer spending, with households still enjoying ultra-low interest rates, and supportive employment and real wage gains. Nevertheless, the short-term narrative remains unchanged; namely external downside risks, primarily a less assured eurozone outlook, hurting Sweden's export-led economy. Meanwhile, an uncertain domestic political climate after an inconclusive general election has damaged consumer and business sentiment. The election highlights the fragmentation of the Swedish political landscape, rendering policymaking more difficult in the future. Russian military assertiveness in the Baltic region has the potential to push Sweden, a historically neutral nation, closer to the prospect of joining NATO. However, such a move is contingent on its neighbour, Finland, making similar strides towards NATO membership.
Last update: April 25, 2019

Operational Outlook

Sweden has one of the world's most internationally integrated economies and welcomes foreign investment regardless of which government holds office. The transport and communications infrastructure are of the highest quality. From an international perspective, unit labour costs are comparatively high and labour laws very protective of workers' rights. However, workers are very well educated and relations between employers and trade unions generally accommodative. The public administration is transparent and incidents of corruption are rare.

Last update: June 7, 2019

Terrorism

Elevated

On 7 April 2017, a hijacked truck was driven into crowds in central Stockholm, killing four and injuring 15 people. The terrorism attack highlights the continued risk of Islamic State-inspired vehicle-impact attacks. However, the risk of more complex and co-ordinated attacks similar to the November 2015 attacks in Paris is lower than in other Western European countries such as France or the United Kingdom, which are of greater strategic and symbolic significance.

Last update: June 21, 2019

Crime

Crime levels in Sweden remain low by global standards, despite successive increases in violent crime since 2012. Organised criminal activity is concentrated in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. Malmö is a particular hotspot because of its location in southern Sweden, across the Öresund Bridge from the Danish capital, making it a node in arms and drug trafficking routes from continental Europe to Scandinavia. Rivalries between criminal gangs are likely to occasionally escalate into shootouts and IED attacks in all three cities. Riots across several cities in western Sweden in the run-up to the election in September 2018 highlights the potential for civil unrest by disenfranchised youths.

Last update: May 22, 2019

War Risks

Sweden recently reintroduced military service and stationed troops on Gotland, the largest island on the Baltic Sea, for the first time in a decade. These measures reflect the deteriorating security situation in the Baltic region, which follows growing Russian military assertiveness post-2014. War risks remain low, but there is a heightened risk of unintended escalation due to Russian aerial and maritime incursions into Swedish territory. Although Swedish membership in NATO remains unlikely in the one-year outlook, the situation could change if Finland, Sweden's historical ally, takes concrete steps towards accession.

Last update: May 22, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

In August 2018, up to 200 vehicles were set ablaze by youths in the outskirts of Uppsala, Gothenburg and other cities in western Sweden. The incident was reminiscent of the week-long riots in Stockholm and other cities in May 2013 and February 2017, and demonstrates the potential for unrest among disaffected youth. Triggers for renewed rioting would be instances of police brutality. The suburbs of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö are most at risk. There is also a risk of violence in connection with neo-Nazi and anti-Nazi demonstrations across the country as a result of the refugee influx in recent years.

Last update: April 25, 2019

Health Risk

Low

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Elevated

Following the weather conditions in case of travelling is essential.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

Potential visitors should take note of a few useful points prior to departure: vehicles are required to be fitted with snow tires from November 1 until April 30. The Swedish motorway is in excellent state.

The driving is on the right side of the road. Due to the important number of accidents linked to wild animals, it is advised to be very careful when driving outside of cities. There is no tolerance towards driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers are charged a toll when entering or leaving Stockholm between 06:30 and 18:30 from Monday to Friday. An efficient ferry services operate between Sweden and neighboring countries on the Baltic Sea.

It should be noted that public transit systems are reliable and punctual. Modern trains offer travel throughout the country. In this calm country, social movement (e.g. a trade union strike that took place in June 2014 disrupting rail travel within Sweden and between Sweden and Denmark) or inevitable weather conditions during winter could impact on the travelers' comfort. Air and rail traffic often suffer from disruptions during the winter.

Taking a taxi, especially independent taxis or small companies, can be very expensive. It is advised to check the posted prices before leaving, as they can be exorbitant for numerous foreign travelers.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Despite its very northerly geographic position, Sweden enjoys a relatively temperate climate which varies by region. Summers can be very hot but become shorter and shorter as you head north. Winters can be very cold, particularly in the north. North of the Arctic Circle daylight is almost constant between mid-May and mid-June.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +46
Police: 112
Fire Dept.: 112
Ambulance: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019