STOCKHOLM – THE GATEWAY TO THE BALTIC RIM
The Baltic Rim Concept is a cooperation between the Baltic Trade Office and Advokatfirman Delphi
Talbot S Lindström, Advokatfirman Delphi HB,firstname.lastname@example.org
Stig Thorsson, Baltic Trade Office/Östersjöhandelskontoret,email@example.com
The Greater Stockholm Region offers an easy access to a market of 60 million potential customers around the Baltic Rim, and apx. 250 million including the entire interconnected region. Only 24 million of those potential customers are in mature markets; the rest are in emerging markets.
Growth rates in key parts of the Baltic Rim are currently at around 6 to 11%; this is far in excess of those in the US and most OECD countries. At the same time the Rim´s emerging economies are stabilizing and inflation rates are coming under control and dropping, which means that the window of opportunity for entry is narrowing.
All of the major cities in the area are within daily commuting distance by air (about one to two hours). Those cities situated on the coast are generally accessible by overnight train/car ferry from Greater Stockholm. Flight time to Moscow and the Ukraine's capital of Kiev is around two hours from Stockholm.
Greater Stockholm is the most centrally located major metropolitan area in the Baltic Rim. It has a well-developed business infrastructure and is virtually bilingual with respect to English. Stockholm is a safe and healthy city – it has an efficient, inexpensive, all-weather public transportation system, excellent English language schools, unexcelled access to recreational and cultural facilities and low crime rates.
Sweden has some of the lowest wage rates in Europe and lower costs for engineers than the U.S. and the EU. The relatively large numbers of ethnic Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles and Russians, not to mention Nordic country citizens and German speakers, found in the Greater Stockholm area provide an unsurpassed pool of resources that can be used in facilitating the doing of business in the Baltic Rim region.
The Swedish telecommunications market was totally deregulated in 1993, which has meant some of the lowest rates in the world for telecommunications and data communications. Telecommunications links from Stockholm to the Baltic Rim nations are excellent and getting even better.
Sweden is ideal to host a US subsidiary doing business in the Nordic countries and the Baltic – getting organized is relatively easy and there are no restrictions on capital invested in Sweden. As a Swedish company it will qualify under EU-rules for subsidies for investments both in Sweden and the Baltic States.
Sweden has very low corporate taxes – the effective rate is approximately 24 – 26 %. Dividends received from subsidiaries – Swedish or foreign – are mostly exempt from taxation at the Swedish parent level, and Sweden has a vast network of tax treaties which makes it possible to control the long term tax implications of the investment.
Swedish income taxes at the individual level are high, however, as compared to the other EU-member states, not extreme. By proper advance planning it is possible to reduce the tax expense and exposure significantly. Currently the Swedish government is analyzing the possibility of introducing special rules with regard to the taxation of foreign expatriates.
Delphi and the Baltic Trade Office - both with extensive networks of private and public enterprises and institutions in Sweden and throughout the Baltic Rim – have jointly developed the Baltic Rim Concept. Under this concept the investor is offered a "one-stop shopping" approach to entering this new market. Consequently, Delphi and the Baltic Trade Office will provide professional assistance in all relevant areas – from the choice of the most suitable form for carrying out business, the build up a business network in Sweden and the Baltic Rim countries to the best possible living, social and educational arrangements for the expatriate and family.
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