Sweden is situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula in the north of Europe near the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. In spite of its position in northernmost Europe (Stockholm, the capital, is on the same latitude as the southern tip of Greenland), the climate is comparatively mild. Sweden is characterised by its long coastlines, large forests, and numerous lakes.
Sweden is one of the oldest kingdoms in Europe, dating from about the year 1000. A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries (an armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars). Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy government and a highly developed economy. Swedish is the official language of Sweden, and Sweden's currency is the krona (SEK).
Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000 through 2002 and again in 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Sweden joined the European Union (EU) in 1995. In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system due to concerns about the impact on the economy and sovereignty.
Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labour force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for little more than 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) and of employment.
PwC Sweden is locally represented all over the country and supports clients with the knowledge and skills of its people and with access to a broad range of other professionals across the PwC global network of firms.