Sweden Economy

Sweden Mineral Resources and Industry


The deposits of metal ores are various and in some cases of moderate consistency; the mining activity is very old, having already spread in medieval times, but for centuries Sweden limited itself to exporting its raw materials and only with the great development of the hydroelectric sector did modern metallurgy start. The Swedish subsoil is particularly rich in iron ores: the largest deposits are found in Lapland, in Kiruna and Gällivare. Copper, lead and zinc, pyrites, tungsten, manganese, as well as gold and silver are also extracted from the Boliden deposits. However, Sweden is very poor in fuels; oil is lacking, coal is almost absent and only Scania has vast deposits of peat. However, the use of hydroelectric potential has long since compensated for this insufficiency: large production of electricity is largely of water origin. Some attempts have been made to reconsider the exploitation of natural gas for energy purposes, following strong public opposition to the use of nuclear power, but almost 50% of electricity needs are still covered by the latter sector (in particular with the Agesta and Oskarshamn plants).

According to findjobdescriptions, Sweden is one of the most industrialized countries in the world and among the latter is the country that, proportionally, invests the most in research and development. There are two major branches of industries: those mainly oriented towards foreign countries, which generally export more than half of their production, and those that work for the national market; it is on the first that the supporting structures of the country rest, whose international trade plays a decisive role in ensuring the very high welfare of Sweden. As for the main location of the plants, three industrial regions can be distinguished in the country: that of the North, characterized by iron, copper, lead Sweden, etc., sawmills and factories for the production of wood pulp, fed by the very rich forest heritage; the region of the power plant, in which the main metallurgical, chemical and timber industries were born thanks to the easily exploited mineral deposits; that of southern Sweden, where light industry is concentrated, whose products are mostly destined for domestic consumption. Metalworking is the most important branch of Swedish industry. The steel industry supplies special steels, exported all over the world, while domestic demands for plain steel are partly covered by imports; the main steel centers are Luleå (Lapland), Borlänge and Fagersta (Central Sweden).

The range of metallurgical industries is vast, making use of the wealth of hydroelectric energy and producing good quantities of aluminum, copper, lead, zinc; even more varied, however, is the panorama of the mechanical industry, which ensures the country most of its exports and supplies electrical and electronic equipment (with a large center in Västerås), office equipment, ball bearings (SKF based in Gothenburg is famous), machines for the paper and wood industry, turbines, telephone equipment, refrigeration systems, armaments (with maximum center in Bofors), locomotives, airplanes etc. The automotive industry is slightly down, represented by the universally known Volvos and Saab. On the other hand, the importance of the paper and wood industry remains very relevant: Sweden is among the world’s largest producers of wood pulp and occupies an excellent position for paper. Perhaps the oldest Swedish industry originated from wood: the manufacture of matches. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is more recent and remains more modest by comparison, but has very high growth rates, increasingly orienting itself towards exports; explosives are widely produced (in Vinterviken, near Stockholm, is the famous Nobel dynamite factory), fertilizers, dyes, then sulfuric, hydrochloric and nitric acids, caustic soda, plastics, synthetic resins, artificial and synthetic textile fibers. Instead, various other industries work essentially for the interior, such as the petrochemical (with refineries in Nynäshamn near Stockholm, Gothenburg, etc.), the food industry (sugar factories located near the sugar beet areas, breweries, canneries, milling complexes), that of rubber and leather, tobacco factories, the textile industry (the latter, which is insufficient to meet the needs and is affected by competition from countries with lower production costs, supplies rather modest quantities of yarns and fabrics, both wool and cotton). Finally, a high degree of notoriety abroad also presents the the design industry (with the famous IKEA brand) and the glass industry, especially for crystals and artistic glassworks, located in particular in Kronoberg, Kosta and Orrefors. As regards the industrial sectors in greatest expansion, those of telecommunications (with the large research center of Stockholm-Kista), electronics, biotechnologies, means of transport and pharmaceutical chemistry are worthy of note.

Sweden Economy