Sweden and the Netherlands in the top of countries most likely to recover economically from the pandemic

Out of 37 countries, the Netherlands has come in as fourth most likely to recover financially from the coronavirus crisis. This is according to the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

  The top three countries are Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. After the Netherlands, China comes in at number 5, then Canada, followed by New Zealand in seventh.  

This is how countries can rebuild competitive economies for people and planet by Saadia Zahidi Managing Director, World Economic Forum

  • A country’s economic competitiveness must include how well it supports and protects its people and the planet.
  • According to the Global Competitiveness Report Special Edition 2020, which analysed 37 countries for their readiness for economic transformation, growth and productivity alone are not enough.
  • With equality and the environment front and centre, the priorities for policy-makers are: long-term resilience; education, skills and care; future-ready markets; and innovation.
As 2020 comes to a close, countries are looking to what lies ahead in 2021.  
Facing the ongoing public health crisis of COVID-19 and the pandemic’s lasting effects on the global economy, policy-makers around the world must take this moment to reflect not just on the immediate recovery, but on how this time can be used to transform their economic systems.
Growth and productivity alone are not enough, without addressing inequality and the environment. There is a need to shift policies so that economies make sustainability and social inclusion central to how they function. This requires not just policies to manage environmental externalities or to build safety nets for people, but also those to spur investments that create the greener, fairer and people-focused markets of tomorrow. In other words, a country’s economic competitiveness must include how well it supports and protects its people and the planet.
  Read the article and the full report 2020 here:          
Lockdown in order to minimise contact between peopl
Coronavirus is once again spreading rapidly. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of infections, with figures up to around 9,000 per day. The number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals and care homes is also rising. That has an impact on healthcare in general; more than one million routine hospital procedures have had to be postponed. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to trace the source of an infection. But one thing is clear: the more people a person comes into contact with, the greater their chance of being infected. In order to ensure normal healthcare services can continue, we must take action and limit our contact with other people as much as possible. This is why the Netherlands will go into its strictest lockdown yet from 15 December until at least Tuesday 19 January.
Stronger recovery in Swedish economy than expected


The Swedish economy is showing a stronger recovery than expected during the autumn. The labour market situation has also developed more positively compared with previous assessments. The employment rate is expected to be somewhat higher this year and next year compared with the assessment in the Budget Bill for 2021, while unemployment is expected to be lower. However, in the future, activity is expected to be hampered as a consequence of an increased spread of the COVID-19 virus and restrictions. This is clear from the Ministry of Finance’s most recent economic forecast, presented today by Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson.

Swedish GDP increased strongly in the third quarter, and seasonally adjusted GDP growth increased by 4.9 per cent compared with the second quarter. The increased spread of the virus in Sweden and several other European countries, with stricter restrictions as a result, means that activity is expected to be hampered at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Overall, GDP is expected to fall by 2.9 per cent this year and increase by 3.0 per cent next year. Resource utilisation is expected to be significantly lower than normal and the Swedish economy is expected to be in deep recession in both 2020 and 2021. “The recovery in the autumn has been stronger than expected, with strong GDP growth in the third quarter. However, we are seeing an increased spread of the virus again, which is expected to negatively impact activity in some parts of the economy. The positive news regarding vaccines gives hope for 2021, both in respect of people’s health and the economic outlook. However, there is great uncertainty, and much depends on how the spread of the virus and vaccination progress in Sweden and around the world,” says Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson. Following the dramatic deterioration in the Swedish labour market in the spring, developments have been more positive in the autumn, even if the situation continues to be very serious. The employment rate has been revised upwards and unemployment is expected to be lower compared with the forecast presented in August. Around 30 000 fewer people are estimated to be unemployed and around 30 000 more people are estimated to be employed this year and next year compared with the previous assessment. Unemployment is estimated to be 8.5 per cent this year, and 9.0 per cent next year. General government net lending is estimated to be -3.9 per cent of GDP in 2020. The strong recovery in the autumn has meant that tax revenues have been higher than expected. At the same time, additional pandemic-related measures have been presented since the Budget Bill for 2021. All in all, it appears that the deficit will continue to be large in 2021. “We have introduced historically powerful packages of measures to support Swedish jobs and businesses through the crisis. Together with falling tax revenues, the large general government deficit produces an increased national debt. At the same time, we have had a strong starting position in comparison with many other countries, with the lowest national debt since 1977,” says Ms Andersson.
  Source and to read more:    
What you need to know about travel in Sweden (and abroad) over Christmas and New Year
This Christmas will be different, wherever you are. Many of us living in Sweden will stay put. But if you do need to travel, here are the rules and recommendations to be aware of. Can I travel within Sweden?  Yes. There is no ban on travel between regions within Sweden – as long as you are completely free of coronavirus symptoms when travelling, although the message from authorities is to consider whether your journey is necessary. You should also make sure you travel in a responsible way, limiting your risk of catching or spreading the virus.
"Any travel should take place in a way that minimises the risk of spreading the infection," the Public Health Agency said in its winter advice. "Remember to limit public transport as much as possible. Avoid making new contacts during the trip and at the destination, beyond the smaller circle that you socialise with [your bubble of no more than eight people total]."
Source and read more at The Local Sweden
Nobel Week 2020
Nobel Week 2020 takes place on 5–13 December in Stockholm and Oslo. Many of the events will this year be streamed and possible to follow online. Traditionally the Nobel Laureates travel to Stockholm and Oslo to receive their Nobel Prizes. This year the Nobel organization has taking the medals to them and inviting you to join in all the festivities as they stream the Nobel Lectures, 2020 award ceremonies and much more online at Photo Credits: Werner Nystrand/Folio/  
Klarna named the most sustainable brand in banking and finance.
In a new survey, Klarna is ranked as the most sustainable brand in banking and finance by Swedish Millennials and Gen Z consumers.
Sustainability is at the core of any brand that aspires to be relevant in the future. Not only from an environmental point of view, but also when it comes to values, business practices, and social responsibility. In a recent , 1500 Millenial and Gen Z consumers have been asked about their views on sustainability, and which brands that best live up to their expectations in this area. 273 companies in 20 different sectors are ranked in order of how sustainable they are in the eyes of the consumers. We are happy to see that Klarna, for the second year in a row, is number one in the banking and finance category, ahead of all the traditional banks and financial institutions. This is a testament to the fact that the younger generations see Klarna as the most sustainable brand in an industry that for a long time has been dominated by the incumbent players. The survey shows that transparency, and having products and services that are priced according to consumers’ different financial needs, are highly valued aspects of a sustainable brand. At Klarna, we are working actively to provide a service that is transparent and adapted to consumers’ needs. Here are just a few examples of how we help our customers:
  • With the , consumers can manage all their purchases and get push notifications when a payment is due. In the app, shoppers can also keep track of deliveries and manage returns. By paying with our free 14-day invoice, consumers can be assured that they get the products they order before any money is drawn from their bank account.
  • We are doing everything in our power to make consumers pay on time. Our recently launched “” is an additional way of educating consumers on how to avoid reminder fees. By completing the test, Klarna will waive the reminder fee to consumers who have missed the due date on a payment, to ensure that it won’t happen again.
  • Our with some of the highest interest rates in Sweden.
  • The “Mission Zero” () which is a long-term commitment to reduce the number of customer complaints on our services to zero. Since the launch, we have managed to reduce them from 40 complaints per 1 million purchases in 2018, to less than 20 on average in 2020. We have taken a lot of actions to achieve this, but we are not happy until we have reached our final goal.
Apart from our services, we are also working hard to reduce our environmental impact as a company. Last year, the “Breakit Impact Challenge” for our initiatives in this area. The hard work to become even more sustainable continues, but the ranking shows that we are on the right track.
Welcome new Member!
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to give a warm welcome to our new Member Britta Wyss Bisang, Personal Member.
Podcast #NordicTalks – Nordic Sustainable Fashion Days 2020 Now available
Podcast #NordicTalks - Nordic Sustainable Fashion Days 2020 Now available Will it soon be cooler to rent, swap or buy secondhand clothes than to fanatically follow ever-changing fast fashion trends? More and more consumers are becoming aware of the fashion industry's substantial climate footprint. Some are trying to reduce their impact on the planet by buying clothes that last longer, while others are choosing to cut back on their fashion consumption. In this episode, we examine new Nordic initiatives for responsible clothes production and get insider tips on how to create a more sustainable wardrobe. This podcast is a product of a Nordic Talk held in the Netherlands during Sustainable Fashion Days 2020. The event was arranged by the Nordic embassies and the Nordic Chambers of Commerce in the Netherlands.