Global business - rules that help and hinder

REPORT Published

Globalisation opens up fantastic business opportunities. World trade has trebled in the last thirty years. Hundreds of millions of people are beginning to demand goods and services in regions in which Swedish companies have excellent opportunities to do business. At the same time, competition is increasing and new companies – with lower costs and even better products – are challenging those that are already established.

Many Swedish companies have also been highly successful in internationalising. For example, according to the UN body UNCTAD's annual World Investment Report, Sweden has just over 4,200 multinational companies. This is more than the USA and Canada combined and an impressive figure in comparison to some 77,000 multinational companies that UNCTAD estimates exist globally.

However, companies often encounter problems associated with laws and regulations. The companies in the study have, to a large extent, overcome the difficulties and built up an international business but, with simpler rules, considerably more could have benefited considerably easier from the opportunities offered by globalisation.