Andreas Göthberg
18 December 2020

Gothenburg continues to attract international companies – despite the pandemic

While the number of international companies establishing operations in Gothenburg has dropped during 2020, it remains at a relatively high-level, thanks largely to the region’s expertise and innovative capabilities.  

During November it came to light that the Gothenburg region had passed Stockholm as Sweden’s leading knowledge region. The report Business R&D in western Sweden, among other things, shows that businesses in Gothenburg’s county invest more in R&D than anywhere else in the country.  

“Apart from it being an important milestone, it’s also a very important factor for the innovative companies that are considering establishing in Gothenburg for competence reasons. It’s also very clear that we have many talented people in the region,” says Andreas Göthberg, head of foreign direct investment at Business Region Göteborg.

Another success factor is that organisations like Business Region Göteborg and the West Sweden Chamber of Commerce have long made efforts to support international talents, who move to the region, for example through the collaborative project Move to Gothenburg.  

“We have benefited a lot from having a strong foundation in place and we see it as a big competitive advantage,” says Andreas Göthberg.  

Move to Gothenburg was launched in 2016. The aim is to help people who come to the Gothenburg region to work or study.

“To a large extent it’s about advice and guidance: where to turn for different permits and how things work in Sweden. It's also available for family members who have also moved here. They can, for example, take part in seminars on Swedish culture or coaching sessions on building a career in Sweden, among other things,” says Andreas.

    Each year Business Region Göteborg assists around 25 international companies to establish operations in the Gothenburg region. This year, with the Covid-19 situation, the number of companies establishing in the region has decreased and is expected to total around 15. We can see that interest in Gothenburg remains high and the number of new business contacts is at around 70-80 per cent of what we would expect during a normal year.  

    “I would say that interest is as high as it has been in recent years. But many of our new business contacts are made when we travel to trade fairs and they will often come here to experience Gothenburg. For obvious reasons, this hasn’t been possible this year and this has meant some processes have been paused. But I’m convinced that the number of companies establishing here will pick up again once the world returns to a more normal situation.”

    Which companies and industries are attracted to Gothenburg? 

    "Not surprisingly, the competence within the automotive industry is something that attracts companies to the region. We also see a lot interest from the life science and ICT industries, as well as companies that want to invest in logistics, thanks largely to our location," says Andreas Göthberg. 

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