The world economic powers have controlled the world economies for the longest time. Sweden is a remarkably small nation, yet it has developed to become among the best and wealth endowed nations in the world. It is a historically established nation that has been existence as early as the 7th century. From these early centuries, Sweden has been known for the level of involvement and development in trade.
Geographic, demographic and natural resources information of Sweden
The geography of Sweden makes it a nation of envy by many others. Sweden has a small area of total coverage of about 449,964 sq km. The area that is dry land is about 410, 934 sq km, and the rest is water. This in comparison to the United States is just slightly larger than the state of California by about land total 2,233 km. Sweden has a coastline of 3,218 km and borders the nations of Finland and Norway. The terrain of the country is mainly flat with a few regions of gently sloping lowlands. Sweden has some few mountains in the western region of the state. The lowest summit is in the reclaimed bay of the lake Hammarsjon, located near Kristianstad and is about 2.41 m below the sea level (Phillips & National Geographic Society, 2009). The highest point is Kebnekaise with height of 2,111 m. The climate is largely cold with the north region being subarctic. The south experiences low temperatures, with cold and cloudy winters and partly cold, cloudy summers.
The demographic data released recently in the year 2010 shows that the population of the country is about 9,074,055 people. The age composition shows that the bulk of the population is between ages 15 to 64 years, this group making about 65.5% of the total population. The below 15 years age group is only 17.1% while that over 64 years is 17.4% of the population (Phillips & National Geographic Society, 2009). The median age of the whole inhabitants is 40.6 years, with the females living longer with a median age of 41.75 years compared to that of the males which stands at 39.49 Years. The population growth rate is about o.17%. The majority of the population above the 15 years can read and write, therefore, the population is highly educated.
The country is richly endowed in resources. Sweden has lots of wealth in terms of the natural resources. These natural resources include large deposits of iron core, lead, zinc, copper, silver, uranium, gold, tungsten, feldspar, timber, arsenic and hydropower (Phillips & National Geographic Society, 2009). This makes her a country of envy for many other nations. The transport systems include well developed and established road and railway systems. The water transport and air are her main contacts with the foreign nations other than the contact she has with Finland and Norway. Sweden is strategically located allowing her to have links with the outside world. The biggest challenge to all these transport systems is the ice flows. These significantly affect the rail, road, water and air transport systems when they start flowing, posing a lot of danger on these channels of transportation.
Sweden has been a monarchy for the longest time. Over the past few years, specifically since the beginning of the 20th and 21st centuries, the political systems have gone through several reforms (Kent, 2008). These have seen the introduction of democracy and the institution of parliament in the country. Thus, the government is currently a parliamentary system, with division of power between the executive, judiciary and legislature. The people are democratically elected, but the leader of the majority in the parliament forms the government. Other free institutions such as churches, movements like the labor, temperance and women movements also were allowed.
In the early years, the 12th, 13th to 17th centuries, the political power weld was directly linked to the trade patterns of the nation (Kent, 2008). To have peace, the nation had joined in power unions with the surrounding nations to establish military powerhouse that allowed them to trade securely as there was adequate security. For instance, in the world wars period, Sweden did not have any affiliations; she remained neutral allowing her to maintain her relations with all nations even if they were both at war. She established several trade relations with most of the European countries, exporting her rich wealth of natural resources to those nations. Currently, she is a chief member of many trade unions including the European Union which she has produced the president of the union.
The economy of Sweden owes its success in the wise decision not to take part in the world wars. It also has roots in the rich natural resources that she is endowed. Traditionally, Sweden relied on the trade of her natural resources and products from her natural resources. The main industries were manufacturing industries, in which they used the raw materials from the rich natural resources to manufacture (Kent, 2008). However, in the recent years, she has developed more lucrative industries such as tourism and service providing industries. These have grown over the years to totally overtake the manufacturing industries by far. The country has an incredibly long history of entrepreneurship, as from the 13th century; all her economy was driven by trade and business ventures.
Current and recent economic and trade statistics
Today, Sweden is among the top ranking nations in terms of development and economic growth. The country is ranked at position 18 in being the freest economies to trade. The currency of the country is the Swedish Krona (SEK). The trade and economic indicators put her gross domestic product at 406072 million dollars in the year 2009; as compared to 370580 and 247259 million dollars in the year 2005 and 2000 respectively (Pyrko & Darby, 2011). The growth rate constant annual percentage was at -5.1 in 2009, as compared to 3.2 and 4.5 in 2005 and 2000 respectively. The exchange rates stand at 7.12 in 2009, 7.96 in 2005 and 9.54 in 2000 against the U.S. dollar. The consumer price index was at 115 in 2009, 108 in 2005 and 100 in 2000 whereas the industrial production index was at 85 in 2009, 100 in 2005 and 91 in 2002. All these trends in the trade sector of the nation show the strong rate at which Sweden trades. Sweden has invested in several industries and production units and is ripping the benefits. Her economy continues to stabilize and grow tremendously.
The main competitors of Sweden in the region are Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Some of the EU members also pose stiff competition against Sweden. Nonetheless, Sweden has continued to hold onto her competitive position in both the regional and the global economy (Pyrko & Darby, 2011). Several nations have tried to beat her economically, but her small seize allows her to efficiently manage her structures hence remaining in the forefront. Some of the factors that give her added advantage over her competitors include the adoption of new technological advancements, investing in innovativeness and competence. This has been the point that she has always used to beat her competitors, some of whom are much larger and endowed in resources than Sweden.
Existing trade relations and associations
The trade advisors of Sweden realize that the economy performs best in a free atmosphere for completion and cooperation with others. This has seen Sweden signing numerous trade deals with many nations, establishing especially significant trade relations (Pyrko & Darby, 2011). For instance, Sweden enjoys a strong bilateral relation with Canada. The two countries have depicted a lot of similarities in the interests of the nations' success. This has enabled them engage in trade deals that have seen them mutually benefit from each other. The two nations have even joined in mobilizing the polar region and the nations around to establish stronger trade relations.
Another significant trade partnership that Sweden has signed is that with her closest competitors and neighbors. Sweden established a deal to regulate the competition between her and Norway, Denmark and Iceland in the year 2001. This deal has seen Sweden thrive in the world markets as the policies that bind the competitive environment are effective. The nation of Sweden also has established other multilateral relations such as joining the European Union, and the World Trade Union among others (Pyrko & Darby, 2011). In addition to these trade relations, Sweden has also established general relations with scores of other countries within the world. This has seen her trade in these nations despite there being any formal trade agreements between the nations. The trade relationships have seen the country grow in trade to an extremely large extent. The returns are simply enormous; the nation is enjoying great benefits from these trade relations.
The leading industries in the economy of Sweden are the service industry, manufacturing industry, textile and assembly industries. The companies that have taken the forefront in the nation include, IKEA, H&M, Indiska, SCANIA, SKANSKA,…