A Snapshot: UK-Sweden Trade Relations

By Helena Roberts
Stockholm, Sweden © Syuqor7/Flickr

Helena Roberts


Building on our UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory, we have collated this snapshot of information from international news sources and government websites. It provides you with a comprehensive list of the latest and most relevant developments pertaining to UK-Sweden trade relations.

Period: Four quarters to the end of Q2 2021 (unless specified otherwise)

  • Rank as trading partner (goods and services):
    • 17th largest trading partner (accounting for 1.6% of total UK trade)
    • 19th largest goods trading partner (accounting for 1.3% of UK goods trade)
    • 12th largest services trading partner (accounting for 2.0% of UK services trade)
  • Rank as export market:
    • 16th largest export market (accounting for 1.5% of total UK exports)
    • 17th largest goods export market (accounting for 1.4% of UK goods exports)
    • 17th largest services export market (accounting for 1.6% of UK services exports)
  • Rank of import market:
    • 18th largest import market (accounting for 1.6% of total UK imports)
    • 20th largest goods import market (accounting for 1.2% of UK goods imports)
    • 11th largest services import market (accounting for 2.7% of UK services imports)
  • Total trade in goods and services: £18.7 billion (decrease of 4.1% or £801 million from previous year)
  • Total UK exports to Sweden: £9.0 billion (decrease of 3.4% or £317 million from previous year)
  • Total UK imports from Sweden: £9.7 billion (decrease of 4.7% or £484 million from previous year)
  • Outward stock of FDI (2019): £26.1 billion (1.7% of the total UK outward FDI stock)
  • Inward stock of FDI (2019): £9.1 billion (0.6% of the total UK inward FDI stock)

For further information, visit DIT’s Trade and Investment Factsheet for Sweden


Latest News about UK-Sweden Trade: 


  1. Tornado Group, a UK animal fencing products company, has been sold to Sweden’s Storskogen (17/01/2022): https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2059148-swedish-group-storms-in-for-tornado-takeover 
  2. Reuters poll predicts Norwegian and Swedish currencies will appreciate against the euro in 2022 (07/01/2022): https://www.nokiamobilephonenews.co.uk/wires/poll-norway-and-sweden-currencies-to-strengthen-vs-euro-in-2022/ 
  3. A new Office of Science and Innovation has been established at the Embassy of Sweden in London, facilitating strengthened collaboration between the UK and Sweden (05/01/2022): https://government.se/press-releases/2022/01/swedish-office-of-science-and-innovation-in-london-to-enhance-swedish-british-collaboration/ 
  4. Environmentalists have condemned the EU-UK fisheries deal for 2022, arguing that the TAC quota limits conflict with pledges to end overfishing  (23/12/2021): https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1540172/fishing-news-latest-2022-fishing-quotas-agreed-brexit-update-sustainable-fishing
  5. COP26 International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition commits to a long term effort to reduce aviation CO2 emissions in order to reach net-zero by 2050. The signatories of this declaration include the UK and Sweden (21/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cop-26-declaration-international-aviation-climate-ambition-coalition/cop-26-declaration-international-aviation-climate-ambition-coalition 
  6. Following the successful implementation of a similar scheme in Sweden and some other countries, HMRC has decided to develop the Single Trade Window initiative in the UK which will enable “firms to lodge all their documents and information needed to meet their import, export and transit requirements in one place” – Frazer, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (17/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/trusted-and-modern-hmrcs-vision-for-the-future 
  7. UK, EU and Norway agree on fishing catch limits for 2022. The limits agreed should help to protect fish stocks (10/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-agrees-2022-fishing-catch-limits-with-eu-and-norway 
  8. Sweden has been elected as a member of the International Maritime Organisation. This will enable the country to push for a tough environmental and climate maritime policy (10/12/2021): https://www.government.se/press-releases/2021/12/sweden-elected-to-the-imo-council/ 
  9. Groundbreaking WTO deal signed by 67 member countries (including the UK and Sweden) could cut trade costs by £113 billion per year (02/12/2021): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-helps-broker-groundbreaking-wto-agreement-set-to-cut-cost-of-global-services-trade-by-113-billion 
  10. In an effort to speed up the decarbonisation of the global shipping industry, a coalition of 19 countries – including the UK and Sweden – have agreed to create zero emissions shipping routes between ports (10/11/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/countries-agree-create-green-shipping-lanes-pursuit-zero-carbon-2021-11-10/
  11. In a bid to fight climate change, Nordic and British pension funds pledge to invest $130 billion by 2030 and to publish annual green investment reports documenting progress (02/11/2021):  https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/nordic-uk-pension-funds-commit-130-billion-fight-climate-change-2021-11-02/
  12. Partnership between Swedish Space Corporation and Bradford Space set to offer a commercial orbital debris removal service from 2024 (29/10/2021):  https://aviationweek.com/aerospace/commercial-space/sweden-uk-plan-active-orbital-debris-removal-service
  13. The Swedish Government has announced its intent to double climate aid contributions to SEK 15 billion by 2025. The Minister for Environment and Climate, Per Bolund, hopes the decision will increase ‘the chance of achieving a breakthrough’ during the COP26 climate negotiations (13/10/2021): https://www.government.se/press-releases/2021/10/ahead-of-un-climate-change-conference-cop26-government-intends-to-double-climate-aid-by-2025/
  14. A number of EU member states, including Sweden, are preparing to issue a joint declaration against Britain over its handling of post-Brexit fishing licences (11/10/2021): https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/11/eu-member-states-to-issue-joint-warning-to-uk-over-reduced-fishing-rights?
  15. Despite a rapid economic recovery, the Swedish Central Bank has announced that it will continue with the loose fiscal and monetary policies implemented during the pandemic (21/09/2021): https://www.reuters.com/business/swedish-riksbank-holds-course-no-rush-exit-pandemic-policies-2021-09-21/
  16. The Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project could initiate a green shift in global shipping. The project, which is still in its early stages, involves collaboration between partners in Sweden, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Germany and Denmark (26/08/2021):https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/want-use-wind-lower-emissions-shipping
  17. Rise of electric battery gigafactory projects in Europe: UK and Sweden set to develop gigafactories to compete in the growing electric vehicle global market. The UK factory will predominantly be fuelled by energy sourced from Norway (15/06/21): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57382472

Helena Roberts is a Global Leadership Fellow at Polar Research and Policy Initiative, and serves as lead writer for the Norway and Sweden sections of both the UK-Arctic Trade and Investment Observatory and the Coronavirus Observatory.

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