Sweden is not on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The follow-up to the last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Sweden was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2018. According to the follow-up Evaluation, Sweden was deemed Compliant for 15 and Largely Compliant for 21 of the FATF 40 Recommendations. It was deemed Highly effective for 1 and Substantially Effective for 4 of the Effectiveness & Technical Compliance ratings.
As a result of Sweden’s progress in strengthening its framework to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing since their 2017 mutual evaluation, the FATF has re-rated the country on 10 of the 40 Recommendations and moved the country from enhanced to regular follow-up.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index 85
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 98
Corruption is not an obstacle to business in Sweden. Sweden's Penal Code criminalises most forms of corruption, and there is a strong rule of law exisiting in the country. Municipal-level procurement is identified as a corruption risk. Swedish legislation does not make a distinction between bribery and facilitation payments, meaning there is no exception for facilitation payments. Companies should be aware of the Code on Gifts, Rewards and other Benefits in Business, published as a supplement to Penal Code changes (in Swedish). The government of Sweden has implemented anti-corruption laws effectively. The OECD Working Group on bribery recognises the efforts made by Sweden to enforce its foreign bribery offence. For further information - GAN Integrity Business Anti-Corruption Portal
Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living with its combination of free-market capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden remains outside the euro zone largely out of concern that joining the European Economic and Monetary Union would diminish the country’s sovereignty over its welfare system. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade.
Economic growth slowed in 2013, as a result of continued economic weakness in Sweden’s European trading partners; Sweden’s economy experienced modest growth in 2014-15, with real GDP growth above 2%, but continues to struggle with deflationary pressure.
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, sugar beets; meat, milk
iron and steel, precision equipment (bearings, radio and telephone parts, armaments), wood pulp and paper products, processed foods, motor vehicles
Exports - commodities:
machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals (2012 est.)
Exports - partners:
Norway 10.3%, Germany 10.3%, US 7.7%, UK 7.2%, Denmark 6.8%, Finland 6.7%, Netherlands 5.2%, Belgium 4.4%, France 4.2% (2015)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
Germany 17.9%, Netherlands 8.1%, Norway 7.8%, Denmark 7.7%, China 6%, UK 5.5%, Finland 4.6%, France 4.3%, Belgium 4.3% (2015)
Investment Climate - US State Department
Sweden is generally considered a favorable country in which to invest. Sweden offers an extremely competitive, largely corruption-free economy with access to new products, technologies, skills, and innovations. These factors, combined with a well-educated labor force, outstanding telecommunications network, and a stable political environment, have made Sweden the destination of choice for American and foreign companies establishing a presence in the Nordic region. With only 9.8 million people, Sweden is highly dependent on exports and is one of the most pro-free trade countries in the world. Sweden is the largest market in the Baltic Sea region and is a gateway to Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region. Low levels of corporate tax, the absence of withholding tax on dividends, and a favorable holding company regime combine to make Sweden particularly attractive for doing business. This attractiveness is somewhat tempered by a high personal tax and VAT tax regime.
Surveys conducted by investors in recent years ranking the investment climate in Sweden show consistent appraisals: a well-trained and educated workforce; low corporate tax rates; excellent infrastructure; and relatively easy access to capital. On the negative side are the high cost of labor, rigid labor legislation, high individual tax rates, longer processing times and overall high costs in Sweden.
In the World Economic Forum’s 2015-2016 Competitiveness Report, Sweden ranked ninth out of 144 countries in overall competiveness and productivity, and has been in the top ten for the past decade. According to the report, Sweden benefits from an efficient and transparent institutional framework, which, paired with an excellent education system, make it one of the world’s top innovators. Restrictive labor regulations are still identified as the most problematic factor for doing business, although this is mitigated by very cooperative employer-worker relations and efficient use of talent. Although the total tax rate on profits decreased in 2013 it remains high by international standards, representing a potential source of distortion in otherwise competitive and open domestic markets.
Also in 2015, Transparency International ranked Sweden as one of the most corruption-free countries in the world; third out of 168. Moreover, Sweden’s economy has strong potential to benefit from technology-driven global competition. Sweden already hosts one of the most internationally integrated economies in the world. Large flows of trade, capital, and foreign investment attest to Sweden’s global competitiveness. Historically, telecommunications, information technology, healthcare, energy and public transport have been sectors that have attracted investors. Sweden is seen as a frontrunner in adopting new technologies and setting new consumer trends. U.S. exporters can take advantage of a test market full of demanding customers with high levels of technical sophistication.
Other Useful Links