Sweden’s knowledge based economy is no big secret, but parts of this fantastic region of the world have been overlooked for too long. But not anymore - some of the biggest names in social networking have wised up to the region. We hit the ‘like’ button for Sweden’s Jamtland county.
Sweden is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most dynamic economies. Stockholm with its strong banking sector is clearly the focus of the region’s attention where there are plenty of opportunities for investors outside the capital city.
Midscand is regional partner of Invest Sweden – they have up-to-the-minute information on the wealth of new business developments happening in the burgeoning region of Jamtland. With their unparalleled local expertise, Midscand can assist and advise prospective investors with the process of starting up new businesses in this exciting part of Sweden – what’s more, their services are free-of-charge for all customers.
“We want to make it easy for you to invest in Sweden and in Jamtland,” says Midscand’s Investment Promotion Manager, Anja Palm. One important part of a successful immigration or investment is knowledge – Midscand have everything at their finger tips, from investment grants and incentives to unrivalled contacts.
“The infrastructure in Jamtland is reliably first-rate with excellent IT-communications and transport of people and freight. Industrial companies like Engcon and Zepro, with their market worldwide, prove that it is possible to operate from the middle of Sweden and be successful,” Palm says.
The Mid Sweden University is another of the regions valuable assets. With its specialist programs within the industrial, tourism, outdoor technology and Sports tech, as well as the Vehicle Technical Centre, the University makes sure the region has a constant source of knowledgeable and competent graduates to enhance the local workforce.
“We won the European Region of the future Award in 2005 – proving that Jamtland is a place where companies and whole industries can expand and set up new operations,” Palm points out. “There are many reasons for this. We have the skills and knowledge required for successful investment; the ability to find new ways to develop, experience and a real sense of commitment.”
Small businesses dominate the local industry. Only 50 of the 7,000 companies in the county have more than 50 employees. Jämtland County holds a seventh place when measuring the number of growth companies in relation to the population.
The local industry has a solid base in the forest industry, tourism and the food sectors, which have always had a strong foothold in the area. The really good news is, a next-generation wave of hi-tech industries are realising the benefits of basing themselves in Jamtland. Factors like the cheapest cost for electricity in Europe, cold climate, stable electricity infrastructure and only green energy makes this region one of the most competitive in the world.
As a result, technology companies like Facebook and their new Data Centre are diversifying Jamtland and its dynamic and progressive industrial base. Evidence of this can be seen in the successful clusters that are mushrooming around the region. Midscand and Invest Sweden, have developed superb sites for the establishment of data centres. All sites are developed on the basis that there should be redundant solutions for electrical and fibre and economical solutions for cooling.
Midscand and local municipalities have years of collective know-how regarding efficient data centre housing requirements like electrical and fibre optics and of course, Sweden’ own cold climate which provides an integral economic solution for cooling. The region has been forward thinking enough to provide potential investors several ready-made site proposals.
Jämtland is also a proactive region in the wind power sector, and plans are in place to set up 2,000 wind turbines. This will mean great business opportunities for existing companies and new start-ups. While working in unison with Midscand, the Indian Suzlon company, and the Norwegian OCAS AS have chosen to establish operations for their wind power facilities in the region, as there is a well-defined market in Jamtland and the surrounding counties. Additionally, there are expansive business opportunities for stakeholders in service and maintenance, crane services and other suppliers to the wind power industry.
Bio-energyNBE Sweden AB is a bio-energy consortium consisting of an ethanol plant, pellet and briquette production, power plants and greenhouses. An extremely resource-efficient use of raw materials is achieved through NBE Sweden’s unique production methods, which are environmentally sound, economically viable, and renewable. When the trial operations of the pilot plant are completed, it will lead to the construction of a complete, full-scale bio-energy consortium in the municipality of Sveg, in Härjedalen.
“Tourism in Jämtland accounts for a turnover of about SEK2.5 billion per year,” says Palm. “Three thousand year-round employees take care of the visitors who spend nearly 9 million guest nights here. This makes tourism one of the largest industries in the county.”
New mountain resorts and ski systems are being developed in and around Vemdalen, one of the fastest growing ski destinations in Sweden. The town has been attracting tourists since the 19th Century. Now, 40 000 – 60 000 new commercial beds are in the pipeline to be built in the ski destinations of Jämtland in the next eight years.
Every year, more than 110,000 fishing tourists visit the county, mostly during the summer season. In Jämtland, you can find 19,000 lakes larger than 1ha and 2,800 kilometres of rapids and streams. During recent years, the average amount of fishing license sales has been between SEK 150,000 and 180,000. All in all, the fishing tourism industry has a turnover of more than SEK 300 million.
So, business and tourism in one booming local economy; what’s not to like about that?