Characterized by a very high technological level in the industrial field, Sweden exports approx. one third of the national product and ranks with Belgium and the Netherlands among the leading world exporters in relation to the number of residents. Exports of raw materials (iron, timber, etc.) are still significant, but are constantly decreasing compared to those of industrial products, such as electrical and electronic materials, motor vehicles, paper and medicines. Imports instead concern many raw materials, such as oil and other minerals, wool and cotton, fruit, vegetables and some other foodstuffs, as well as luxury items, which also reveal, due to their widespread use, the standard of living of the Swedes.. The exchanges take place mainly with Germany, followed by the other Scandinavian countries and the United States; more than 50% of the trade now takes place with the states of the European Union. The trade balance is very balanced and in the early years of the 21st century it recorded a substantial surplus. As for the financial sector, the center of the system and a rather active marketplace is the Stockholm stock exchange, while in the banking sector the main body is the Riksbank (central bank). In the communications system, the considerable latitudinal extension of the country and the strong difference in population density have obviously determined a very unequal distribution.
Overall, the communication routes, both railway (9860 km in 2002), which ensure one of the most comfortable passenger transport in the world) and road (212.961 km, with 1529 km of motorways), subject to careful and constant maintenance, in fact, they show a clear concentration in central and southern Sweden, depending on the more intense population. In the rest of the country, the road system essentially rests on the very important Baltic coast line, which reaches the Finnish border. The main traffic junctions are of course Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, but in the north the railways, albeit with large links, go as far as Kiruna. Great hub for internal communications, arrival point for ferry-boats from Copenhagen, it is Malmö, from which the dense railway network of southern Sweden then departs; it is especially important for the movement of transit passengers to and from the continent. On 1 July 2000, the great road and railway bridge over the Øresund, which connects Malmö to Copenhagen, was inaugurated: an imposing work, which consists of an arch preceded by a tunnel and an artificial island for 15 km in length. Still widely exploited are the inland waterways, which mainly concern the major lakes, suitably connected by artificially arranged canals or trunks of rivers (the main one is the Göta canal, which passes through lakes Vättern and Vänern); on the other hand, rivers are not very suitable due to their frequent jumps in height. Sea lines connect the capital to the other major cities of the Baltic and to the island of Gotland. International and domestic air transport is essentially ensured by SAS.
The main airports are the international ones of Arlanda, 40 km from Stockholm, of Gothenburg Landvetter, and of Malmö Sturup; well known is the direct line to North America which follows the polar route. The merchant fleet, which is necessary for a country that is not only maritime but which trades with foreign countries almost exclusively by sea, has a good consistency; among the ports with the greatest traffic are Gothenburg, Stockholm, Helsingborgand Malmö. The mass media system is highly developed, with a wide cultural and entertainment offer and one of the highest penetration in the world of mobile phones, personal computers and other electronic devices. Until recently characterized by predominantly Scandinavian and German tourism, Sweden is opening up to a more massive attendance, favored by the construction of the bridge that connects it to Denmark and by the increasing offer of low-cost flights.. Naturalistic tourism has always been of particular importance: lakes, forests and the phenomenon of the “midnight sun” in the arctic areas continue to represent elements of sure attraction. Among other things, it should be remembered that the entire territory of Lapp (motherland of the Sami people) has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The capital Stockholm is also attracting ever-increasing crowds of tourists. Visit picktrue.com for how to travel to Sweden. In addition to the artistic and cultural richness of the capital, there are many other noteworthy tourist resorts: the island of Gotland with ancient Visby and the painted stone stems, but also the royal palace of Drottningholm and the archaeological sites of Birka and Hovgården, in addition to the historic university of Uppsala.