back to article Forget China and India, Sweden is tech's superpower

Sweden has, again, beaten all other countries at what the World Economic Forum describes as "fully integrating new technologies in...competitiveness strategies and using them as a crucial lever for long-term growth." This ongoing Swedish success story is only one intriguing data point in the massive 10th annual Global …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    It's not surprising

    When Ericsson keep buying up everyone else's tech companies and then making all the employees redundant.

  2. The Envoy

    Come join us!

    Greetings from Sweden!

    We may freeze our collective backside off in darkness and dusk 9 months of the year, but we warm our faces in the glow of various sized screens. Thank you technology!

    (We also offer a never ending supply of beautiful men and women.)

    1. Mark Berry
      Big Brother

      Come join us

      Already on my way mate.

      Hot leggy blondes, and 4 bed detached houses for 21 grand, how could I say no........

      1. Cameron Colley

        I may well join you both.

        Men jeg snakke ikke svensk...

        1. Trygve

          Indeed you don't....

          But it looks like you might be able to get by in Norwegian, so don't despair.

      2. mhenriday

        Given Julian Assange's experience, Mark,

        I suggest that before coming to join us here, you prepare a contract of about the length and complexity of a typical EULA, which makes clear that responsibility for any misunderstanding concerning sexual activities or ruptured condoms, etc, etc, rests entirely with any hot leggy blond who takes an interest in you or invites you to overnight in her apartment and that your own interpretation of these and related events has legal priority. In the event such a blond person starts to talk to you, you would be advised to make signing the contract in triplicate a prerequisite for your own participation in the conversation and whatever events ensue. These precautions may, it is true, seem a bit excessive, but let me assure you, they can be necessary, in particular if your relation to the US government is not the best....

        With regard to what is likely to happen to our present technical pre-eminence, foreigners can be forgiven for not being aware of the fact that ever since a Social Democratic government decided to communalise our schools in 1989, and a so-called «bourgeois» government went them one better three years later and introduced tax-financed charter schools, our ranking in, e g, the international PISA assessments has steadily declined. But there's no reason to despair - now that we have a former Army major as minister of education, things are bound to look up !...


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    However does Sweden have the national make up to take advantage of their current position?

    1. Anton Ivanov

      You obviously had a lousy history teacher

      Looks like you slept through history in high school.

      That includes that bit where you study the period where Sweden kicked everyone's a**e around Europe into a pulp for many decades. They may take long to get going and they may prefer not to get involved, but once they do, they may get as far as half-the way into Ukraine before someone stops them.

      In any case this puts the idea that "cheap labor is the most wonderful factor in innovation" where it belongs. Ahem to that. As the russians say, when numbers talk even the gods stay silent

  4. John Savard Silver badge

    Evil, Evil, Evil!

    How dare they list such a place as "Taiwan, China" in their list? Even just Taiwan is a cop-out. That place is the Republic of China. As opposed to the other place, the People's Republic of China, under cruel and evil totalitarian overlords.

    Just like the Republic of Korea versus the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

  5. Chimp

    Bloody titles

    Who wants to invest in my free online newspaper in Zim? I need a volunteer reporter for political affairs, too.

    Nice troll in an earlier post about Taiwan, btw. With love like that, is it any wonder it has taken 60 years for any kind of detente to take hold.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Article has at least one bogus stat...

    "Americans following the current congressional arguments about the effect or taxes on competitiveness might be interested to learn that although the US is ranked at a comparatively low 92 among 138 countries in total tax rate – meaning that 91 countries have lower overall rates – the report's number-one country, Sweden, scores significantly lower at 110."

    This seemed a bit odd, so I went to (, and I find that Sweden rings the bell as the top nation in terms of taxation as % of GDP. Somebody is lying...

    1. John Deeb

      Re: Article has at least one bogus stat.

      Big John, it seems somebody is not reading carefully... the tax rate list was ordered from low to high. Although it means there were (only/) 28 countries with even higher tax rates than Sweden!

      Another difference between the tables is that one lists taxation as % of GDP and the other as sum of all (?) taxes as a % of commercial profits, having Spain, Italy and France for example having larger %'s than Sweden in this case.

  7. Ole Juul

    Readiness index?

    > The rankings are from the report's "Networked Readiness Index" (NRI), which is defined as "the capacity of countries to fully benefit from new technologies in their competitiveness strategies and their citizens’ daily lives."

    I live in Canada and we're certainly "ready" for a modern internet experience. Unfortunately, due to the lack of competitiveness here, it doesn't look like it's going to happen for a long time. How we made it to number 8 is beyond me. Either the numbers are all wrong, or there's a lot of other countries that lack the will to develop this, so called, "new technology". I think it's both.

    1. earplugs

      Re: Readiness index?

      Networking is practically a monopoly, and Canada will be ready for a modern internet experience when Rogers says it will be.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Thumb Up

      I don't have much fondness for you guys...

      But even if half of what you're saying is true... Fair play, lads, fair play.


      Ok, grudgingly, bit more respect for France.

    2. Dagg

      You missed one

      Next war and the French will surrender faster than anyone else!

    3. Jean-Luc
      Thumb Down

      Colbert, Colbert, Colbert

      France has sh*tloads of government sponsored gravy-train industries, most of which you cleverly managed to list. Individuals and companies typically have to pay taxes to keep state-owned crap afloat. I know, I lived there. Some of the winners you do list are in charge of paying for the losers.

      It spends boatloads on social stuff and has high taxes, but fairly low, IMHO, well-being for its poor (seen the banlieues?). And certainly crappy unemployment management.

      Military? You forget the Charles de Gaulle, happily holed up in port for a long while after it launched. And a rather measly contribution of a light infantry division for Gulf War 1 was all France could field, despite sucking up taxpayer money like there was no tomorrow for defense. I am not saying we should all buy only American weapons, but insisting on "rolling your own", for _all_ weapon systems, is daft pork. Even if you think it's clever.

      Last, but not least, Sweden shows, that, to some extent, nanny-state Socialism can work. France shows quite the opposite.

      Food, wine, climate & fashion: advantage France. Women: even. Men: us French dudes, naturellement. Esp. the expats!

  9. Mr Blonde
    Paris Hilton

    Sweden FTW!!!

    Kazaa, mySQL, Skype, The Pirate Bay, Spotify...

    Long legged Blondes like me and mine?

    Maybe it's the long and dark winters?

    Mr, Mrs and Ms Blonde

    1. Bjoerrn

      That's right

      ...except that Monty, the man behind MySQL, is Finnish. As is Linus Torvalds, although they both *are* Swedish-speaking Finns.

  10. LRanger

    LLB etc

    I wonder where Sweden gets this long legged blonde stereotype from?

    Swedes have got to one of the most reserved societies in existence, besides fika they need the internet to communicate with each other, hardly any pubs, monotonous food, the list is endless.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Swedish Foreplay:


  11. bitten
    Thumb Up

    US rules

    An index, any index, by nature sets US number one, all the rest does not matter. OK after ten years they slipped a few places. But Japan for example is off the radar, that's what we want, that's what it is.

  12. El Zorro

    @ Frank Gerlach Handle 2

    Ah wow, I didn't know France was such a military superpower compared to Nordic countries.

    Let me just google it before I make further comment: "French Military Victories"


    1. cloudberry


      It seems a bit atavistic for modern-day Europeans to keep going on about military victories, or lack of then, when we're supposed to be past all that. But if you care about the matter so much, France's military history includes plenty of victories. For instance, you might have heard of a fellow named Napoleon?

      As for that list of French achievements above: it does seem a bit chauvinistic.

      While France has certainly achieved a lot, it's perhaps unfair to demand the same from a country of 10 million as from one of 60 million. For its size, Sweden has been quite an achiever, too.

      Anyhoo, we Europeans a common, interconnected European home, and we're all supposed to love one another, and let go of our petty parochialisms! Right? Right?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Billl

          re: My point was...

          "The Chinese and the French know this..."

          I tend to agree that the Chinese government and the French government have more in common than the French like to admit, but I am surprised to see some like yourself admit as much.

          France makes me sad, as they were once a great protector of individual liberties, as was the US -- at one time.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Peter Clarke 1


    I've watched Wallander (original and BBC) so I know it's full of criminals and murderers- too dangerous for me! It doesn't seem chock full of beautiful people either. I can't get over all the doors opening outwards.

    PS I won't be visiting Oxford, Glasgow or Denton either. Add Las Vegas, Miami and New York to the list.

    1. Andrew Newstead

      How about

      Midsommer for next years Hols?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    All this talk of France and Sweden...what about good ol' Blightly???

    Oh wait...we're only 15th on the list...better subtract the 'good' from my question....

  15. Dinky Carter

    Japan's hi-tech image is just an illusion

    There's nothing surprising about Japan's low score, unless one has never visited or lived in Japan. Despite the techno-paradise image, everyday use of technology is extremely limited there, and the rate of change is glacial. While the cutesy Honda robot may look 2050s, the typical Japanese home is 1950s, as is the banking system. The rail system works wonderfully not because of advanced technology (it's all fairly standard stuff, mostly developed outside Japan) but because the staff actually care about their work. That's where Japan scores: it's all fairly low tech, but nothing is ever broken, dirty or late.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Glad to see...

    Namibia is not in the lowest lot. :-)

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