Erika Larsdotter Hed
Erika Larsdotter Hed
CEO, Finhammars, Sweden

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Erika is the CEO of Swedish accounting firm, Finhammars, and a qualified CPA with a background in team sports and travel, with a strong professional passion for cooperation and teamwork. Erika is goal-oriented and solution-focused,  excelling in progressing, particularly in English-speaking environments. Erika’s expertise includes working with owner-managed companies, addressing auditing, tax matters, K10’s, 3:12 rules, dividends, and group structures, with a focus on future planning. Additionally, she adeptly handles complex issues for international clients, involving group reporting, VAT, and transfer pricing. This blend of local and global experience highlights their commitment to delivering comprehensive financial solutions.

Investing in Sweden

January 12, 2024

Investing in Sweden, home to two banks ranked in the top 20 of the global top 100 safest banks by Global Finance Magazine in 2023, is often seen as a progressive choice. This perception stems from the nation’s high social equality and growing emphasis on sustainability.

As we round the corner into 2024, Erika Larsdotter Hed, the CEO of Finnhammars in Stockholm, offers an understanding of why Sweden’s economy is considered such a safe pair of hands and whether she considers that might change in 2024 under a turbulent few years across the global economy.
Hed has held the CEO position for just over a year, but has worked at Finnhammars for over 12 years.

The shift to digital

Digital businesses could consider Sweden as a useful European base. Often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world, Sweden offers a preferential tax regime for investors, a well-educated workforce and remote-working friendly infrastructure. Hed points out this significant trend that has reshaped the Swedish business landscape,

“The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the transition to the digital economy in Sweden.” This shift has opened new avenues for foreign companies to enter the market, especially through online and digital channels. It’s a change that’s likely to stay and continue shaping how businesses operate in Sweden.

Investor confidence amid currency changes

Despite the Swedish Krona’s recent decline in value, Hed notes that investors are still looking towards Sweden with confidence.

“The Swedish Krona has experienced a significant depreciation against major currencies in recent months. Surprisingly, a recent survey by the Swedish Trade & Investment Council indicates that foreign investors remain optimistic about Sweden. The country’s robust economic fundamentals continue to attract foreign investment.”

Sustainability hub

Sweden has set ambitious sustainability goals, ranking 5th in the global environmental performance index, with a core objective to be fossil-fuel free by 2045. Hed recognises this as an attractive proposition for forward-thinking businesses,

“Sweden is dedicated to innovation and sustainability, making it appealing to businesses striving for responsible growth. In addition, Swedish consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable products and services. Companies demonstrating a commitment to sustainability have a competitive advantage.”

Challenges and opportunities

Expanding into Sweden does not come without its set of challenges and opportunities. Hed acknowledges issues like a shortage of skilled workers in certain sectors, technology, healthcare, and engineering, posing recruitment challenges for some industries. Hed recognises that other workforce challenges may cause investors to take another look at the numbers,

“Sweden is relatively expensive, which can be a hurdle for companies aiming to attract and retain employees.” It seems that such favourable environmental and social conditions have a more challenging set of governance, “Sweden has a comprehensive regulatory framework to protect consumers and employees. Companies need to be well-versed in these regulations before entering the market.”

Making the move to Sweden

Hed suggests that companies should do their homework before expanding to Sweden.

“Before making any expansion decisions, conduct comprehensive research.” She stresses the importance of understanding the local market, regulatory environment, and cultural norms.

Building connections through Swedish business networks can also be a crucial step in establishing a presence in the market. “Sweden offers numerous business organisations and networks that facilitate connections with other companies and provide insights into the local market. Engaging in the Swedish business community can help in building relationships and establishing a presence in the market.”

If you are interested in doing business in Sweden, please get in touch.