♠ Posted by Emmanuel in Europe at 4/15/2016 10:33:00 AM
|MNCs decamping from London to Stockholm after Brexit: a fanciful or plausible scenario?|
Swedish businesses are preparing for a British exit from the European Union, hoping a so-called Brexit will help Stockholm lure more companies and build its status as a global business hub. While a Brexit “would be devastating on many levels,” both for the U.K. and countries like Sweden, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce said it also sees opportunities should such an event play out.While there are a number of world-class companies in Stockholm, it is not exactly yet on terms with London:
“We are convinced that companies with headquarters in the U.K. would have an interest in reviewing where they locate their operations in case the referendum leads the country away from the EU,” Chief Executive Officer Maria Rankka and chief economist Andreas Hatzigeorgiou said in an e-mailed statement. “Sweden and Stockholm would then be an attractive alternative to the U.K. and London.”
According to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish capital is currently home to the headquarters of nine global businesses, ranking it eighth worldwide. The U.K. hosts 21 global headquarters.I am not entirely sure if Stockholm can even begin to replace London even outside of financial services firms. There are several other considerations for creating a business capital such as: level of cosmopolitanism, level of internationalization, amount of international travel, amount of trade, the home language (English is certainly an advantage), level of taxation (social democracy is generally more expensive to maintain), size of the national economy and so forth. On these counts, Sweden is an interesting exercise in the social-democratic variant of political economy, but not (yet) the main show.
To climb the ladder, Stockholm will probably need to fix its housing shortage. In addition to building more homes, especially rental apartments, the Spotify founders urged Sweden to improve its education system to focus more on programming and to relax corporate ownership rules for employees.
OTOH, do see the argument of Stockholm's supporters that it is #2 in the emerging "financial technology" area.
Also, see the CEO of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Maria Rankka, writing about this topic.