Swedish exports expecting rebound for the rest of 2022

Carl-Johan Karlsson and Karin Wessman from the Swedish export credit agency, EKN. Photo: Tommy Fondelius.

The first half of 2022 has been a tumultuous time for many in Europe, but some experts say Sweden could see a national rebound throughout the rest of the year.

Sweden’s export credit agency, EKN, says after Easter they started seeing more business.

“On the 24th of February [when Russia invaded Ukraine] we basically saw big hesitation,” EKN Head of Business Area SME & Midcorp Carl-Johan Karlsson said. “Now we see a normal inflow of export transactions.”

New solution coming soon with bank financing for startups

The government commissions EKN to promote Swedish exports and the internationalization of Swedish companies. The agency is preparing this year to launch a new solution to help connect startups with commercial banks.

“Techarenan is super important for us and important for Sweden, here we see one thousand or two thousand companies, all of them growing rapidly, and they have smart solutions that are possible to export,” Karlsson said.

Karlsson says EKN is planning a new solution that will help enable startups to obtain bank financing with banks like Nordea and SEB.

“I spoke to ten companies today so far, and only two of those companies had a bank contact,” Karlsson said. “The rest are funded by angel investors, equity and their own capital.”

EKN also helping Swedish startups with the green transition

This isn’t EKN’s first rodeo to help Swedish startups. The agency also has an initiative focused on helping startups within the green transition.

“We can share the risk with the bank, when they provide a loan to a green investment in Sweden,” EKN’s Head of Sustainability, Karin Wessman said.

Wessman says they see a lot of particularly small and medium sized companies wanting to invest in green transition projects in Sweden, but banks are sometimes hesitant to share the risk. Through their initiatives, EKN can take up to a potential 80 percent of the bank’s risk.

“Globally, we have all the technical solutions that we need for climate transition, but financing the solutions is still a challenge,” Wessman said. “We look forward to working even more closely with banks, with our peers and with others to find and finance innovative solutions.”

See Karin Wessman in the panel “Sweden: A Global Role Model in Sustainability” at Techarenan Summit 2022 here.

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