OECD Territorial Reviews: Sweden 2010

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This review of regional policy in Sweden finds that Sweden has recently renewed focus on promoting development opportunities in all regions and has introduced a gradual regionalisation process with a strong bottom-up approach. Yet challenges remain, particularly concerning knowledge diffusion and urban-rural linkages. Further efforts to achieve critical mass and improve co‑ordination can help better address local needs. This Review explores the potential for enhanced innovation and entrepreneurship in both urban and rural areas and provides recommendations to strengthen Sweden’s regional development strategies through improved governance mechanisms, both regionally and across levels of government.



Regional Development in Sweden

Trends, Achievements and Challenges

Sweden is a small open economy exporting a large share of its domestic production. The cold climate and particular geography creates an uneven distribution of the population with pockets of concentration, and surprisingly low levels of inter regional inequalities. Chapter 1 is comprised of three main sections. The first section identifies Sweden’s main macroeconomic strengths and challenges. The second section illustrates the high levels of economic and demographic concentration present in Sweden, their impact on national output and the low levels of inter regional inequalities. This section also evaluates the asymmetric impact of the global financial crisis on Swedish regions. The third section assesses the main factors of growth at the regional level and identifies opportunities for growth in the areas of promoting innovation, enlarging labour markets, improving inter regional linkages and examining future sources of growth in rural regions in renewable energies.


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