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Turning Point for Swedish Furniture Export: 'success export story' is slowing down

Annual statistical report from the Wood and Furniture Companies (TMF): Turning point for Swedish furniture exports – targeted export initiatives are now required.

Over 70 percent of Swedish furniture production is exported to other countries, but now the Swedish success story is slowing down due to economic conditions and the global situation. This is revealed in the annual report from the industry organization TMF, which is presented in conjunction with the Stockholm Furniture Fair.

-As people and businesses have less money in their wallets, it is natural that interior design is not prioritized. However, the Swedish furniture industry has long enjoyed international success. To avoid disruptions in this trajectory, it is crucial for the government to broaden export initiatives to more industries," says Cecilia Ask Engström, Head of Industry and Policy at Wood and Furniture Companies (TMF).
During the previous year, the industry continued to grow despite significant political tensions, economic pressures, and reduced consumer spending. However, the growth is now slowing down. Swedish furniture exports amounted to 22 billion in 2023, representing a decrease of just over one percent compared to 2022.

"For a long time, the weak Swedish krona favored exporting companies, but now we see that more and more are tightening their belts, including interior design for public spaces. However, internationally, the Swedish furniture industry has traditionally been a circular pioneer, and this is something that must be strengthened even in tougher times to maintain competitiveness," continues Cecilia Ask Engström.

Photo © Michele Ursi |

-In December, the government launched a new trade strategy mentioning more effective support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The practical implications of this are still unclear.

"Many of our member companies are small or medium-sized enterprises that are often pioneers in sustainability. It is therefore important for the government to turn words into action to facilitate for the companies where the business opportunities are greatest. TMF has been working on export-related initiatives for the furniture industry for the past three years, and we will soon launch a handbook outlining the requirements and regulations for exporting to the USA, the UK, Germany, and France," says Linda Löf, Project Manager for Industry & Policy for Furniture at TMF and Export Manager.

-Sweden is the tenth largest exporter of furniture in Europe and ranks 17th globally. However, for small and medium-sized enterprises, export initiatives are both costly and risky. Among the initiatives TMF advocates for are the removal of trade barriers in the internal market and trade agreements that take into account the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises.

More information:
Trä- och Möbelföretagen (TMF)
[email protected]

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