Major branches of Industry
The Swedish forest industry has played an important part in the Swedish economy since the middle of the 19th century. It has over the years become mainly export-oriented and accounted for almost half of Swedish exports during the 1950s.
The Swedish sawmill industry is still the largest in Europe and accounts for about 10% of the world's exports. In the pulp and paper industries, Sweden was the third largest exporter in the world in the early 90s.
The Swedish forestry is the main supplier to the forest industry. Imports of raw materials are insignificant in this industry. Forests cover a large part of Sweden and the Swedish forestry is considered very modern and it operates with long-term ecological objectives.
The mining industry is dominated by the LKAB company and 90% of its production is exported, mainly to the German steel industry. The exports of iron ore have decreased since the mid 1970s but Sweden is still among the top ten exporters in the world.
The steel industry is also exporting most of its production. Swedish steel producers have concentrated on quality and more than half of the sales value consists of the more expensive special steel used for precision tools and ball bearings, etc. SKF, ABB and Ericsson and inventions like the ball bearing have given Sweden a good worldwide reputation in this sector.
The car and airplane industries are also significant. Volvo and SAAB are well-known companies in these fields and produce both cars and trucks under various brand names. SAAB is also a producer of commercial and military airplanes.
Many traditional Swedish mechanical manufacturing companies have diversified into the electronics industry, which has grown rapidly. Sweden has one of the most automatized manufacturing industries in the world, and Sweden's ABB is the largest producer of industrial robots in Europe. Ericsson is a very successful company in telecommunications and sell digital exchanges and cellular phone systems to markets all over the world. Telia (telecommunications) and SJ (railway transports) have been or are in the process of being introduced on the stock market. Astra and Pharmacia & Upjohn, is the most reSearch (in Swedish) intensive of all industries and its products have been very successful during the last decades.
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