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American Edmund Phelps was named winner of the 2006 Alfred Nobel Economy Prize
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Storm damage in Southern Sweden
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Hong Kong beckons
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Skype's Zennström and eBay's CEO, Meg Whitman
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Thomas C. Schelling (L) and Robert J. Aumann
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More and more of them are powered by corn...
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Sweden's new centre-right government has announced that it will scrap the planned environmental carbon-tax on airlines

Business Brief

Radio Sweden’s monthly program exploring business and the economy, presented by Mark Cummins.

From the interest rate adjustments at the central bank to new deals by Ericsson and SAS and the latest technological innovations, we’ll tell you about it on the second Wednesday of every month.

In Business Brief October we speak to the head of Sweden’s largest and most influential business lobby - Urban Bäckström, on Swedish business’ hopes and expectations for the new government.

..and more on American Edmund Phelps who took the 2006 economics Nobel on Monday for work in the 1960’s on the link between unemployment and inflation that economists say shapes the way central banks formulate monetary policy today.

UPDATE: No environmental tax for airlines.

Air travel is enjoying a revival in Sweden - indeed all across Europe. The meteoric rise of low cost airlines offering flights between European destinations for less than a taxi ride to the airport has increased the overall number of people flying and the current economic buoyancy - especially in Sweden - has led to a rebound for charter and ”so called” traditional carriers alike.

But just as many carriers are climbing back into profit - the issue of the environment - and bringing the aviation industry to account for the pollution it causes, could upset neatly-laid plans of airline executives. When Business Brief June aired  - it looked like Sweden was to be ”first off the block” to introduce new environmental charges but the new centre-right government, which won the september 18th elections has confirmed that the airline environemtnal carbon tax will not be introduced.

The state of the Swedish welfare state

An American persprctive on the Swedish Welfare State: Harvard Professor, Richard B Freeman, together with a group of leading American economists and their Swedish co-authors  follow up on their extensive 1995 analysis of the Swedish welfare state. And..

The Swedish economy has been subject to a string of diagnoses and prognoses in recent weeks. While the authors have been a diverse bunch - the general picture is this - Sweden’s economy is in full bloom...

Whats the economic outlook for Sweden in 2006?

Business Brief speaks to chief economist at SEB bank on this year’s unusually buoyant prognosis.

Stockholm’s road tolls look like good news for manufacturers of environmentally friendly cars in 2006!

2005 Nobel Laureates in Economics

This month we talk to this year’s Nobel Laureates for Economics: Israeli-American Professor Robert Aumann from the Center for rationality at Hebew University in Jerusalem and Harvard University Professor Emeritus, Thomas Schelling of the United States, who were awarded this years Prize for their ground breaking work on game theory.


This month, after weeks of speculation, internt giant eBay announced it will buy a SKYPE - an internet telephone company started by a Swede and a Dane in 2003.

The deal is potentially worth some 4.1 billion US dollars - a deal that harkens back to the heady days of the telecom boom of the late 1990’s. But after that boom came the dramatic bust - and during the bad-times just 3 years ago - the founders, Niklas Zennström and his Danish partner Janus Friis did a round of meetings in an attempt to drum up seed capital in Stockholm.

Most said no.

Sweden’s forestry industry recovers

Bill Schiller takes a look at the forest industry in this Nordic nation - crucial for the nation’s exports and struggling to recover after the devasting winter storm smashed into southern Sweden. He also takes us to the world’s biggest forest industry fair - which takes place every 4 years in Sweden.

Sweden as a brand

Just last week an international survey concluded that Sweden as a brand was the number one country brand in the world. The country is home to a staggering number of big name multinationals for the country’s size of just 9 million , and these have done the lions share of securing the Swedish brand abroad.

But like the rest of the world, Sweden’s economy is part of the same global economy and today what maybe considered Swedish is very often not strictly the case.

Two such icons of Swedishness abroad are automobile makers VOLVO and SAAB. Both have linked their fortunes to an identity as Swedish but both are no longer swedish owned.

Is outsourcing the answer?

Outsourcing, regional competitiveness and the globalisation are business buzz- words that nobody can have missed in recent years.  

This month, a number of Swedish business organisations held workshops and seminars on different strategies for taking advantage of global economy.   

One aspect concentrated on how Sweden and the greater Baltic region can bolster its own competitive advantage in global market place.

Another focused on India, and on the huge outsourcing potential the country has for Swedish business.

India’s success in building a critical mass of factors that make it attractive for investment was also high on the agenda.

Business briefing meets one Swedish hi-tech firm that has successfully set up operations in India and who tells us that expanding to “low wage” countries is not all about tax breaks and low costs – but just old-fashioned good business sense.

A race to market in China

A race to market in China Today - the buzz in the business world is the boom in Beijing. The rule of thumb for businesses across the globe - is that you have to be there to take part in the rapid expansion of the once - and apparently future - economic and political giant. Radio Sweden’s Dragana Mrdja is just back from Hong Kong - where she caught up with General Manager of the council’s mission in South China - Jens Wernborg, and General Manger of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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