After more than a half-century of economic and social success, Nordic countries are confronting the reality that they must adapt. The countries’ ability to keep providing world-class social benefits is in question because of changes that are eroding the foundations of their economies. Those changes include the rise of new global competitors and the trend toward digitalization of economic activities around the world. While Nordic countries are still operating from a position of strength, their future is no longer assured.
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The development of the Swedish economy, and the country's ability to remain competitive, is largely dependent on how well Sweden can leverage digitization and technology to drive economic growth and job creation. In the early 2010s, Sweden was the world leader in digitization, but while other countries have increased their investments in digital solutions and technology, Swedish investments have stagnated. As a consequence Sweden has lost its digital leadership and is on a negative trajectory in BCGs e-Intensity Index. Changing this current trajectory and re-claiming global leadership must be a national priority. Therefore, it is time for Sweden to launch a new digital agenda, with the aspiration to make Sweden the best country in the world for leveraging digitization and technology to drive economic growth and job creation.
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The Baltic Sea is in a critical state, and eutrophication, caused by excess nutrients in the water is one of the major threats. Measures to limit human-caused nutrient load have been enacted, but progress has been too slow. The future of the Baltic Sea can be improved by a stronger municipal environmental strategy that would also boost local economies and labor markets. For an average municipality in the Baltic Sea region, addressing eutrophication can create €270 million in gross output and 3000 full-time jobs between 2015 and 2030. Within the entire Baltic Sea region, 900 000 jobs could be created by 2030, representing almost 2% of the total labor supply.
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