Sweden—Commitment to Development Index

The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect people living in poorer nations. This is the country report for Sweden. For results of all countries, visit the main CDI page.

Overall

Sweden ranks 3rd on this year’s Commitment to Development Index. Sweden performs above average in all components except security, with a top position in aid, environment, and migration.
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Aid

Sweden has the best aid policies of all CDI countries. It performs slightly stronger in aid quantity: in 2014 Sweden provided 1.09% of its GNI for development assistance, which is the highest amount of all developed countries and far above the international commitment of 0.7% GNI. Furthermore, the quality of Sweden’s foreign aid is above average in three of the four dimensions forming the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) indicator. Sweden’s development aid excels at promoting transparency and learning, and it places only low administrative burdens on recipient countries, making aid more efficient.
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Finance

At sixth place, Sweden is one of the leaders in the finance component. There is room for improvement in Sweden’s international investment agreements, through better accounting for the public policy goals of its investment partners. However, with regards to its institutional commitments, Sweden has a good score due to its compliance with the OECD anti-bribery convention. On the finance sub component, Sweden receives a relatively high score as it is considered to be only moderately secretive. It has efficient tax and financial regulations and a high degree of international cooperation on tax and financial matters. However, it could improve by requiring companies to make ownership details available online.
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Technology

Sweden’s performance in the technology sector is slightly above average. Its current rank (11th) is mainly because of relatively high government support to research and development; in 2014 the Swedish government provided 0.84% of its GDP to research and development and had relatively high incentives for business R&D. Sweden provides substantial financial support to all R&D sectors reflected by the CDI, but especially to its universities. On the contrary, Sweden does not play a leading role in the diffusion of technology to developing countries with a low score on intellectual property rights. It could do more to facilitate knowledge sharing, especially establishing less strict database protection rights and anti-circumvention rules which are more development friendly.
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Environment

Sweden has effective environmental policies as is ranked in the top 4. Its scores relatively high due to its impressive performance in all indicators. Sweden has a role-model commitment to combatting climate change through its low rate in greenhouse gas emissions and for not producing fossil fuel. It is also committed to its biodiversity treaties obligations and by only having low imports of tropical timber (overall score for all European countries). By increasing its gasoline taxes, Sweden could further improve its score.
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Trade

Sweden ranks in the top 5 for the trade component. Sweden imposes relatively few restrictions on imports by requiring only a small number of documents, the cost of importing a container are among the cheapest, and it takes less time than in other CDI countries. Sweden has a good score on trade in services, but could improve its rank by imposing fewer restrictions on service providers from other countries. The rest of the trade component reflects EU tariffs and quotas for products from developing countries – in this case all EU countries have essentially the same performance–above South Korea, Japan, Norway, and Switzerland, which impose high tariffs on selected imports (esp. South Korea and Japan), and below New Zealand, Australia, and the United States which all have significantly smaller (if any) tariffs on imports from developing countries.
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Security

Compared to the rest of the CDI components, Sweden performs poorly on security. Even though it is party to all international security agreements taken into account in the CDI, its contributions to international peacekeeping efforts and patrolling global sea lanes are only average, and Sweden’s exports of arms to poor and undemocratic countries exceed those of all other CDI countries. These combined factors leaves Sweden at the bottom of the security ranking.
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Migration

Sweden ranks 2nd on migration policies. It has the best migration policies of all European countries. These positions reflect Sweden’s general openness towards migrants, with good scores across most indicators. It is highly committed to international burden sharing, reflected in the high score on the refugee acceptance indicator. Together with Portugal, its integration policies are the best among the CDI countries. However, Sweden could improve in its commitment to international frameworks by ratifying the Migration for Employment Convention and by accepting more students from developing countries.
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