Sweden country brief
Australia and Sweden established diplomatic ties in 1963.
Australia and Sweden are like-minded countries, cooperating on a range of issues in international fora. We share a commitment to democratic values, protecting human rights, gender equality, disarmament, strengthening the rules-based international order and trade liberalisation.
There is scope for closer business and research and development links between Australia and Sweden in mining and energy, pharmaceuticals, defence, digital technology, and transport. These ties will further deepen through the negotiation of a comprehensive and ambitious Australia-EU Trade Agreement.
Australia and Sweden have a close bilateral relationship based on shared values and historical links. In 1770, Swedish botanist Daniel Solander came to Australia on Captain James Cook's Endeavour and assisted Joseph Banks in describing and collecting native plant specimens.
An active commitment to the United Nations has been a cornerstone of Sweden's foreign policy since it became a member in 1946. Australia cooperates with Sweden in the Human Rights Council. Sweden joined the EU in 1995 but is not in the Eurozone. In 2022, Sweden applied for NATO membership, a significant change in its long-held policy of non-participation in military alliances. Sweden became a NATO Partner for Peace in 1994 and an Enhanced Opportunity Partner in 2014. Nordic-Baltic cooperation is an important aspect of Sweden's foreign policy.
Similar to Australia, Sweden is committed to realising the sustainable development goals. Australia participated in Stockholm+50 in 2022 and we cooperate on environment initiatives around the green transition, oceans, combatting plastics pollution.
- Swedish visitors to Australia (year ended 30 June 2022) - 3559
- Resident Australian population born in Sweden (2021 census) - 10,847
- Australian residents of Swedish descent (2021 census) - 46,699
- Swedish working holidaymakers (Year ending 30 June 2022) - 269
- Swedish student arrivals in Australia (Year ending 30 June 2022) - 242
High level engagement
- 2023 Australian Parliamentary Delegation visit to Sweden
- 2023 Their Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel visit to Australia, accompanied by Mr Johan Forssell, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade
Agreements with Sweden
Australia and Sweden have several bilateral agreements including a Double Taxation Agreement (1981) and a Working Holiday Maker Arrangement (2001).
Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.
The Australian Embassy in Stockholm actively promotes Australia's commitment to liberal democratic values, multilateralism and respect for human rights. Activities include supporting cultural and research exchanges. The Embassy participates in Stockholm Pride.
The Embassy engages in a range of activities to promote Australian culture, creativity and artistic excellence. Activities include support for events which showcase our Indigenous heritage and strengthen Australia's relationship with Sweden's Sámi Community. The Embassy also hosts and participates in events supporting Australian artists, films, and sport.
Australian Embassy in Stockholm
Australia and Sweden have strong trade and investment links. In 2021, two-way goods and services trade was valued at $3.4 billion. Australia's major exports that year were coal, education, alcoholic beverages and recreational travel. Major imports from Sweden comprised telecom and ICT services, medicaments, civil engineering equipment and vehicle parts and accessories..
In 2021, the stock of Australian investment in Sweden was valued at $15.0 billion. Swedish investment in Australia was valued at $10.2 billion.
Sweden has been a long-time advocate for trade liberalisation. Australia continues to seek opportunities to promote Australian business and raise awareness of potential benefits of increased trade and investment between Australia and Europe, including Sweden. This work has intensified followed the launch of Australia-EU Trade Agreement negotiations in June 2018.
Australia and Sweden have strong business links. More than 100 Swedish companies are present in Australia, including Ericsson, IKEA, Volvo Group, AstraZeneca and ABB. Swedish health, civil security and telecommunications companies have potential to build on existing investments in Australia.
Australian companies established in Sweden include Ramsay, Macquarie, CSL Cochlear, Computershare, ALS Laboratory Systems Group, Dragon Mining and Orica Mining Services, Worley, and Talga Group
Austrade's Stockholm Office aims to attract foreign direct investment into Australia.
See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Sweden.