Modern Workplace
6 December 2018

Foreign-owned businesses employing more workers

The number of foreign-owned companies in the Gothenburg region is on the rise, with companies from Denmark and Luxembourg showing the greatest increase. These are some of the findings in Business Region Göteborg’s new report, Företagande 2018.

The report, which is only available in Swedish, gathers statistics and analyses on the region's business environment across a number of areas. One of the chapters concerns foreign-owned companies. Here we present some of the findings.


Number of employees growing strongly

In 2017, there were 2,378 foreign-owned companies in the Gothenburg region, which corresponds to a 4% increase compared to the previous year. These companies employed nearly 88,000 people in the Gothenburg region in 2017 (+4.6% year-on-year), equivalent to a fifth of the workforce.

Between 1990 and 2017, the number of foreign-owned companies has increased from around 600 to nearly 2,400 (+285%). The increase, however, is lower than for Sweden as a whole (+461%). At the same time, the number of people employed by foreign-owned companies has increased by 387% in the Gothenburg region and 230% in Sweden.

“More and more foreign companies are investing in operations in the Gothenburg region and it’s largely because of the region’s differentiated pool of competence, various strong business clusters and many testbeds that form an innovation ecosystem within arm’s reach. At the same time, many sectors in the Gothenburg region have performed extremely well and existing firms are increasing in size, as well as in turnover and value added creation,” says Peter Warda, analyst at Business Region Göteborg and author of the Företagande report.  


Norway tops the list

Neighbouring Norway remains the most prolific foreign-owner of companies in the Gothenburg region, with 410 companies. Next on the list comes Germany with 268 companies, Denmark with 241 and the US with 224.

Between 2016 and 2017, Denmark and Luxembourg were the countries that increased their presence most in the Gothenburg region (+23 and +13 respectively), while the UK had the greatest decrease (-13 companies).

Volvo Cars, which is Chinese-owned, is the largest foreign employer in the region, with around 13,200 employees. Other major employers in the region include the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (2,200 employees), Swiss staffing company Adecco (1,200 employees), French public transport operator Keolis (1,100 employees), Austrian plastics maker Borealis (1,000 employees) and the fast-growing Chinese automotive engineering company CEVT (825 employees). 

Download the report in Swedish >>

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