The steel industry generates prosperity and welfare
At present, Sweden’s steel industry employs about 26 000 persons in Sweden; partly in the steel companies themselves and partly in different supplier companies.
The steel industry generates substantial export earning and tax revenues. The export earnings contribute directly to GNP and the tax revenues help, in different ways, to fund investments in public services. The importance of the steel industry, along with other Swedish export industries, cannot be emphasized enough.
The film below gives an example of the steel industry’s contribution to social development, the environmental benefits of steel and the far-reaching use of steel in many forms in our daily lives.
Examples of how steel companies contribute to Sweden’s public services:
- Uddeholms AB exports the majority of its production. This company, in 2017, contributed around SEK 250 000 000 in tax. This is sufficient to fund 605 nurses.
Find out more how Uddeholm is competing (sverigetarmatchen.se)
- Ovako AB, in 2017, contributed around SEK 450 000 000 in tax. This is sufficient to fund 800 police officers.
Find out more how Ovako is competing (sverigetarmatchen.se)
Strengthening competitiveness is vital
The steel industry has to compete in a global marketplace. In this context, Swedish steel companies are world leaders within several different market niches with their advanced steels, but the competition is intense nonetheless.
Read more about the world leading steel companies
A number of different factors affect the competitive position of the steel companies. Input goods such as iron ore, scrap metal, alloying elements and energy must all be available on favourable terms and at competitive prices. The operating conditions for the steel companies including taxes and charges, the availability of researchers and highly educated personnel etc must be comparable with those of their competitors.
Once these basic conditions are satisfied, it is a question of operating at the leading edge in terms of e.g. research, innovation, marketing and competence development. Another key factor is proximity to the markets – this means that efficient transport operators and infrastructure are of the greatest importance.
All Swedish steel companies today are international, many operate globally, and a series of factors are influential in determining whether a group management will make its next investment in Sweden – or in some other country. It is, therefore, extremely important that the Swedish government constantly evaluates how political decisions affect the competitiveness of the companies; ensuring always that this competitiveness is retained or strengthened.