Västra Götaland (Sweden)

Västra Götaland is a county (lan) of Sweden. It is located on the west coast of Sweden, between Oslo (Norway), from which is 300 kilometers of roads, and Malmö / Copenhagen (Denmark), which is located 250 kilometers far from highway. With the port of Gothenburg as obvious centre of freight shipping forward in Scandinavia, Västra Götaland is a strategic place for management and business development.


Basic data:


Official Name:  Västra Götaland
Provincies: Västergötland, Bohuslän, Dalsland and Halland
Capital: Gothenburg
Area: 23.942 km2
Population: 1.600.000 habitantes
Population Density: 67 inhabitants /km2
Official Language: Swedish


Economic and Labor market data (year 2010) 

GDP (€):
GDP per cápita (€):  40.000
Annual GDP Development  (%): 7,1
Gross National Inceme per capita (€): 20.235
Employed Population: 765.300


Economic activiy inside the region

The economic activity is one of the leaders in Europe in terms of investment in research and development. They develop new companies with intensive knowledge in areas of environmental technology, biomedicine, informatics, culture and experiences, also through its interaction with powerful business parks; Västra Götaland is among the twenty fastest growing regions in Europe.

New energies

In Västra Götaland is located the part of the most technical, environmental and consumer research, with successful energy companies, industrial experience; plenty of natural resources, competent and environment-friendly.  

Several companies in West Sweden are major suppliers of wind power industry, such as SKF in Gothenburg, world leader in ball bearings for wind turbines. 

Solid bio-fuels such as wood, chips and pellets of waste products from the forestry industry are another area of growth for renewable energies with many companies specialized in burners, boilers and other power equipment. 

Västra Götaland is well advanced in terms of biogas, an almost climate-neutral fuel and high value that is extracted from biological waste products and residues. Biogas Väst is a collaborative project for biogas as fuel in which fuel producers, municipalities, car manufacturers and distributors collaborate to encourage biogas market. Hydrogen gas and fuel cells are another area of ​​development.

The energy-efficient building passive houses-even for new construction as well as renovations, is another environmental specialty Western Sweden.

The energy-efficient edification of passive houses -for new constructions as well as renovations-  is another environmental specialty of Western Sweden.

Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is one of the most important sectors of Västra Götaland. In the triangle formed by the cities of Gothenburg, Trollhättan and Uddevalla there are four of the five Swedish vehicle manufacturers, which give rise to a concentration of knowledge, research resources and productive competition. In Västra Götaland there are hundreds of providers in activities related to vehicle manufacturers.  Among them highlights Autoliv in Vårgårda, a leading vehicle security and considered a pioneer in the development of safety belts, airbags and protections against whiplash injuries.

Information Technology

The information technology is an important business sector that is very powerful in Westen Sweden, with about 4,700 companies. Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg is one of the largest IT parks in Europe. In the park, universities and high-Schools cooperate with enterprises like Sigma, Semcon, Ericsson and other 150 small and medium-sized high-technology enterprises.

In Västra Götaland there are high qualified experts in micro waves and antennas: in a radius of 300 km it is fabricated 40 percent of the of the world’s microwave links.  Ericsson developes radio links and radio base-stations for mobile communication, and Saab Microware System is the leader of the radar technique.

Another important sector of the región is the telematic, 60 companies develop telematic systems for the automotive systems.

In Västra Götaland there are also many enterprises engaged in the development of informatic games. 

Shipping Industry

Several shipping companies have their base in Gothenburg, one of the most significant enterprises of Stena. The region has a long tradition in shipbuilding; it is important to highlight Orust, a company has several shipyards that constructing sailing and motor boats.

Volvo Penta is a world leading company of inboard boats, propulsion systems for commercial and recreational boats and industrial engine.

Companies and universities collaborate in projects aimed at the development of the maritime sector and the research of a suitable navigation. Some examples are the Lighthouse of Chalmers (Gothenburg) and the Svenskt Marintekniskt Forum (Uddevalla). Clean Shipping Project is another collaborative project which aims to encourage shipping companies and transport buyers in order to increase their investments in new environmental technology on vessels.


Food production is one of the biggest economic sectors of Västra Götaland, with manufacturers like Abba Seafood, Brämhults, Göteborgs Kex, Santa Maria or Dafgårds. Nowadays there is a growing interest in organic food and a fifth of the agriculture is dedicated to the organic farming.

Textile Industry

In Västra Götaland there are some of the strongest brands of Sweden and several innovative eco-fashion producers. In High School of Textiles (Textilhögskolan), of Borås, There are carried out important investigations about textile technology. Intelligent textiles –textiles with an integrated technique– are an area where Västra Götaland is standing as one of the world’s cutting-edge companies. A type of innovative textiles that are revolutionizing the textile industry, offering great business opportunities to sectors like medical technology, decoration, automotive and construction. Smart Textile Prototype Labs of Borås is a large-scale laboratory that has at its disposal researchers specialized in different spheres (textile and design technique, interactive design, nano-fiber technology).


The manufacture of furniture and kitchens is another specialty of Western Sweden. Tibro in Västra Götaland, is the centre of furniture production in Sweden. Nowhere in Nordic Countries with so many assembled furniture manufacturers.


The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of Västra Götaland, with about 300 companies, half of them performing their own product development. 


Internationalisation of the region

Foreing trade: Number of companies exporting / importing in 2011

Territory exports companies importers Companies


4 479

3 299


4 808

11 364

Rest of Europe

1 264

1 326

Fart East

1 325

3 385

Rest of Asia



North America

1 297

3 318

South America







7 215

14 899


Communications and logistic routes

The region has an ideal logistical location, 70 percent of the Nordic industry and population is in a radius of 500 km. The Port of Gothenburg is the largest in Scandinavia and handles a large percentage of Swedish imports and exports. More than half of the goods arriving and leaving the port of Gothenburg are transported by railroad. It is also the only port in Sweden with direct transoceanic traffic. Another important part of the infrastructure is Göteborg Landvetter Airport, a distributor of air transport outside Europe.  

Roat Network

Good roads to Oslo, Malmö / Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as well-developed road network developed  in the region.

Railroat Network

Initiatives are underway to increase accessibility to Gothenburg. This will reduce travel times, which will increase the accessibility of the city, and the capacity of the trains will also increase.

Göteborg Landvetter Airport is the international airport, located at the west of Sweden, with 90 direct flights from all around the world.

The airport is a great workplace, employing around 3,500 people for a hundred of companies and organisations. It offers 90 non-stop routes, of which about fifty are scheduled routes and the rest are charter flights. With flights to countries such as Tehran to London, and Luleå to Las Palmas, the destinations span three continents and over twenty countries.

Besides nonstop routes, the airport has many charter destinations too. About 5 million travelers visit it each year and over 75% are international flights.

Göteborg City Airport was founded in 1940; initially it was built for military activities. The military part was closed in 1969, and since 1976, it is a commercial airport and its passenger number has steadily increased until today, having nowadays more than 800 000 passengers per year.

The airport reaches 23 destinations in 12 countries.


The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port of Scandinavia, with over 11,000 docked ships every year and the only port in Sweden with the capacity to receive the largest container ships of high seas. Nearly 30 percent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the port. The Port of Gothenburg can offer a wide choice of shipping routes, with more than 130 worldwide destinations. There are direct routes to the U.S., India, Central America, Asia and Australia.

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