Working Paper No. 462

Swedish Multinational Corporations: Recent Trends in Foreign Activities

Published: June 1996Pages: 54Keywords: TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS; RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTJEL-codes: O32; F23

Swedish Multinational Corporations: Recent Trends in Foreign Activities Pontus Braunerhjelm, Karolina Ekholm, Lennart Grundberg and Patrik Karpaty


This paper presents recent trends in the foreign activities of Swedish multinationals. The focus is on the distribution of production and R&D between the MNCs' domestic and foreign units, and the pattern of trade within the firms. Issues concerning entry modes and the importance of information technology in coordinating geographically dispersed production are also highlighted. Despite considerable improvements in the conditions for industrial activities in Sweden, the trend towards increased internationalization of Swedish firms has continued. After a noticeable increase in the share of foreign production located in the former European Community between 1986 and 1990, the recent development suggests a return to a regional distribution of foreign activities similar to the one prevailing in 1986. In the 1990s the increase in foreign production by Swedish MNCs has been concentrated to the NAFTA-countries, Asia and Eastern Europe. Another striking result is the pronounced increase in the share of foreign R&D that has taken place between 1990 and 1994.

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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