Political relations between Sweden and Mexico are good and smooth. Diplomatic relations between the two nations were established on July 29th, 1885, and since then both nations have opened embassies in each other’s respective capitals. . The main basis of the relation between Mexico and Sweden are trade and economic cooperation and there are excellent conditions for growth and diversification.
Their mutual interest has been to strengthen the political relationship that led them to originally sign the “Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Mechanism for Bilateral Consultation on Themes of Mutual Interest between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and Mexico.” It was signed in the City of Stockholm in 1998.
Today, Mexico-Swedish relations are cordial and feature close mutual understanding. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Trade Minister Ewa Björling visited Mexico last November to have bilateral talks with President Enrique Peña Nieto. They also addressed a business seminar on innovation and gave a speech on the economic situation in Europe.
As a result of the Free Trade Agreement signed between Mexico and the European Union back in 2000, both countries are now major commercial and investment partners. In this relationship Sweden has taken full advantage of a strategic position with Mexico.
Exhibit 1 summarizes the Trade Balance between Mexico and Sweden. It shows that commerce between the two countries reached its maximum level in 2012. This bilateral commerce has experienced many up and downs, mostly reflected by the global recessions in the years 2001, 2007 and 2009, but they have recovered in a satisfactory way again since 2010 and have been following a path of continuous growth.
Several important factors in the trade balance between Mexico and Sweden are revealing. Take, for instance, the fact that during the 13 year time span from January 1999 to December 2012, total exports from Mexico to Sweden rose from US$23.74 million to US$92.83 million (+390%). And at the same time, imports from Sweden to Mexico also showed a growth of 85.70%.
Total commerce between the two countries and reciprocal action brought in US$1.4 billion during 2012 in trade between the two partners and showed important improvements. This has been especially true for the period since 2011. This was when, for the first time in the last year that total commerce “stats” were available, that the US$1 billion was fully identified. In fact, the period 1999 to 2012 represents a 92.44% growth rate in total commerce between the two nations. And there is another interesting detail. In 2012 there was an impressive 12.68% increase in commerce (US$1.4 billion) compared with (US$1.2 billion) in 2011.
Sweden represents the 9th largest commercial partner with Mexico among the members of the European Union and accounts for 2.3% of total Mexican commerce with the EU.
Exhibit 2 shows Swedish Investment in Mexico. Sweden is the 6th largest investor among the members of the European Union in Mexico, representing 1.5% of the total accumulated investment coming for the EU. During the period from January 2000 through September 2013, companies with capital from Sweden invested US$1.2 billion. Sweden ranks as the 11th investor in respect to all nations investing in Mexico.
There are 236 companies with Swedish investment in Mexico. The main sectors with Swedish capital commercialized in Mexico are manufacture and financial services.
Among the important Swedish groups that have invested in Mexico are: AGA (medical) and Atlas Copco. The latter is a leading world provider of industrial productivity solutions. Their products and services range from compressed air and gas equipment to generators, construction and mining equipment. They also specialize in industrial tools and assembly systems as well as related aftermarket and rental concepts.
Regarding the telecommunications industry, the presence of the Swedish Group Ericsson is very strong in Mexico. Ericsson started operations in Mexico in 1904 by operating a telephonic-connected net in Mexico City. Samsung was also cutting edge in the telecommunications industry in Mexico by installing the first Intelligent Net providing advanced services such as 800 numbers, universal access accounts, and prepaid cards. All these were innovative services of the time. By the year 2001 Eriksson installed the first GSM /GRPS net with a national range. In 2004 Eriksson celebrated its first century in Mexico. These are just a few examples of the main accomplishments credited to Ericsson in Mexico.
Electrolux, the Home Appliances Company has installed production in Ciudad Juarez. There are other groups investing in Mexico including: ABB (Technology); Sacnia (Automotive); Auotliv (Automotive); Haldex (Automotive); Scania (Automotive); Tetra Pak (Packaging for Alimentary Industries); and Trellerborg (Automotive Components).
Other firms are Volvo Commercial Credit (Financial); Volvo Trucks (Automotive); Avesta (Steel); Duni AB (Paper); Gambro (Medical); HIAB Foco (Industrial Equipment); Oriflame (Health Care); and Svedala (Construction).