New research policy to sharpen Europe’s competitiveness

REPORT "Europe has fallen behind in the global knowledge economy. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise recently published a report promoting a redirected European research and innovation policy. Cutting the CAP agricultural and structural funds distributed throughout the EU would free significant resources to invest in reducing the current research gap to the USA", wrote Carola Lemne General Director for the Confederation.

An inviting Sweden can gain in the global talent hunt

LABOUR MIGRATION Globalisation and technical developments are creating fantastic opportunities. Recent decades have seen hundreds of millions of people rising above poverty due to technological and trade improvements. Countries previously linked only with hunger and war, are now seen as global tiger economies, writes Carola Lemne, recently installed as new General Director for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

Sweden should work to promote simpler EU regulation

REGULATORY RED TAPE Current practices in public procurement and VAT regulations impede Swedish companies trying to grow in Europe. This and other findings were recently published in a report from the Board of Swedish Industry and Commerce for Better Regulation (Näringslivets regelnämnd, NNR). “VAT is a greater concern for small enterprises than for larger businesses,” concludes reporting author Andrea Femrell.

Successful job seeking “down under”

LABOUR MARKET Australia’s jobs agencies are all private and compete with each other for assignments. 15 years after this sea- change, everyone wants to hear about their favourite successful national employment services model. “We have a lot to learn,” notes Ulf Lindberg Head Private Sector Policy for Almega (the Services Sector employers’ association).

The internal market tears down barriers

EU The internal market has brought European nations closer to each other and broken down protectionism, according to Per Linde, Senior Advisor at Linde Metallteknik. Still, plenty of red-tape remains to trouble businesses. That’s why voting in the upcoming EU parliamentary election is important to work for change, Mr Linde says.

Debt crisis priority issue in Swedish election debate

BRUSSELS Austerity policies in Europe, current free trade negotiations between the EU and USA, the climate threat, and the internal market were several of the heated issues addressed when the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise helped organise an election debate with Sweden’s EMPs in Brussels.

eCommerce business started thanks to the internal market

EU Scandinavian Design Online, an eCommerce company selling specially designed interior design products over the Internet, would not exist without the internal market. MD Jörgen Bödmar has also taken a personal interest in working to improve the EU cooperation.

Welcome proposal for greater mobility across borders

COMMENTARY The centre-right coalition government has agreed with the Green Party on a series of proposals to make it easier for foreign students and entrepreneurs to stay and work in Sweden. These changes are welcomed by the business sector, writes labour market expert Karin Ekenger for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

The ‘I’ in the TTIP will create a global gold standard

TRANSATLANTIC TRADE Sir, EU and US trade negotiators are meeting this week for the fourth round of negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As the name suggests, our partnership stands on two firm pillars: trade and investment, writes Mr Peter M Robinson, Mr Karsten Dybvad and Mr Urban Bäckström in Financial Times.

How to create a half million new jobs?

LABOUR MARKETS Swedish unemployment rates currently lie at historically high levels, so the opposition Social Democrats promised in their shadow budget to achieve the lowest EU unemployment levels by 2020. Such, clear definition of objectives is always good, but more important is being realistic in understanding the prerequisites to achieve such ambitious targets. Clearly, these objectives require additional serious consideration, writes chief economist Ann Öberg and Urban Bäckström, Director General, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

Employers shift gears to advance EU

GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT Getting the message out—The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is currently working flat out for the EU parliamentary elections. Through a series of activities, the organisation is promoting its positive view towards open boarders and freedom of movement.

"The internal market must be allowed to grow"

EU Family business Svalson AB, located in the farthest northern Swedish county of Norrbotten, is a global leader in producing sliding teller or transaction windows. 40% of their production is exported to Europe. ”The internal market has made it much easier for us. Less paperwork and fewer regulations mean we can sell at a lower prices – which is better for our customers and lets us increase sales,” explains Maud Spencer, MD for Svalson AB.

Zero Tariffs between EU and USA – for jobs and growth

TTIP NEGOTIATIONS Chief negotiators in the TTIP free trade agreement between the EU and USA met in Brussels to discuss tariffs on industrial goods and agricultural products. ”We hope these negotiations can agree on zero tariffs for most goods,” write Hans Stråberg, Europe Co-Chair for the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, and Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, President of the LO (Swedish Trade Union Confederation).


European prosperity needs free movement

EU Mobility should be promoted. Providing facts and raising knowledge about the benefits of free movement is now more vital than ever. This was the main message in a seminar organised by the Swedish Society for Business and Politics, SPN, in the European Parliament.

International double taxation a serious problem

COMMENT It´s crucial that the EU and the Member States keep up with the work on eliminating Double Taxation within the Union and worldwide, writes Hussein Abdali, taxexpert, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

Business friendly Europe can create jobs and growth

COMMENT The EU Commission recently issued its Communication “For a European industrial renaissance,” which expresses a desire to make Europe more business-friendly. The Communication states this can be done by implementing a series of measures already in place. But, the primary message is how it is vitally important for all member states to understand the necessity of a well-functioning industrial and business base to create growth and jobs, writes Sara Lowemark, the Brussels office.


More difficult recruiting foreign students

SKILLS SUPPLY The Swedish government has made it harder for youth from outside the EU to study and work in the country. Entrepreneur Tommy VeittiKoski Deputy MD for Smartshake AB, wants to see a change. "We’re experiencing high growth and have huge recruitment needs," he says about his company with sales in 50 countries.

140 countries committed to entrepreneurship

GLOBAL Next week we’ll see this years’ edition of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This time there are 140 countries taking part, and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has enthusiastically clicked ’Like’. Everyone who arranges an activity linked to entrepreneurship and innovation during the week is welcome to make an appearance under the event’s umbrella – entirely free of charge.


When education gets taken for granted

EDUCATION "Lax attitudes among Swedish students; teachers with entirely too low demands." Thus, a female Master’s student at one of Sweden’s larger universities summarises her experiences, writes Mikaela Almerud, expert on tertiary education.

Climate targets vs Industrial policy - can we do both?

EU EU has committed itself to promote the role of industry and its competitiveness. Which target or targets for energy and climate policy should be set – only one for CO2 emissions or do we also need a renewables target? Do we need targets for competitiveness and security of supply? These and other questions were on the table at a seminar in the European Parliament organised by the Swedish Society for Business and Politics (SPN).