Sweden is still the most trade friendly nation in the world

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Growth may have slowed from double-digit to single figures but Swedavia’s airports are still performing well, according to director of cargo, Ylva Arvidsson.

Across Swedavia’s main airports, growth was 2% with Stockholm Arlanda up 4.3% in 2018. This year has got off to a slow start though March numbers were promising.

Arvidsson says growth in 2019 is likely to be very small or equal to 2018. Traditional Swedish exports including automotive, machine parts and pharmaceuticals remain strong, and the main imports continue to be apparel and perishables.

There is some cross-border traffic, with Arvidsson saying: “The majority of our freight has Sweden as origin or destination, but there are also significant flows of Norwegian Salmon going via Stockholm and Gothenburg.”

Swedavia is hoping to use Sweden’s location to its advantage. Arvidsson says: “Scandinavia is of course on the outskirts of Europe, but some routings actually pass straight over us: most lanes Europe-Japan for example pass over Southern Sweden.”

It is looking both to the east for more connections to Asia and west where more capacity should be added. Over the longer-term, facilities will be upgraded.

Arvidsson says: “At our Stockholm Arlanda Airport we are looking at relocating the total cargo area, this process will take many years to complete. Our focus is to build a sustainable airport for the future with the aim to become the leading airport in the Nordics.”

The industry must come together to maintain Sweden’s strong position, Arvidsson says: “We just took the initiative to further cooperation within the air cargo industry by founding Air Cargo Sweden, a network where all stakeholders from the industry: airports, airlines, handlers and forwarders come together to tackle the main issues and to enhance the ‘Ease of doing Business’ within the air cargo world in Sweden.”

As the biggest market, financial centre and hub for business in the Nordic region, Arvidsson says Sweden outperforms the rest of Europe in areas such as the economy and competitiveness.

She says: “The country is a global leader of innovation with a highly skilled labour force, smooth business procedures and a stable economy. Sweden ranks at the top as the most trade-friendly and logistically efficient nation in the world, moving goods and connecting manufacturers and consumers with international markets.”