At the moment many Swedish manufacture plants are bought by BRIC players which are an interesting phenomenon as the interest is increasing meaning that there are reasons beyond low interest here. Historically European countries like Sweden has had a low interest which has lead to investments in automated manufacturing plants competitive with labor intensive manufacturer in the BRIC area, we can find examples like Flextronics. However, in recently bought manufacturing plants it is different. Indian Bahra Forge bought Kilsta plants in Karlskoga, Sweden to manufacture crankshafts, Suzuki Metal bought wire manufacturer Garphyttan and Indian Kemwell bought two pharmaceutical factories in Uppsala. Why?
It seems like access to raw material, skilled operators, localizations as well as sustainability and environmental issues play a role here. Taking a financially point of view it seems like the interest gap between west European countries and the BRIC region plays a important part in the managerial decision making process as high tech plants cannot be replaced with low cost labors in BRIC, nether access to raw material, leading to comparative advantages in relative lower interest (even if it is increasing in absolute terms), skilled operators, knowledge workers as well as local and secured access to raw material in a stable region.
How can we use the comparative advantage as a west European nation? First of all, we can compete on the global market with high tech production, skilled operators and industrial knowledge workers. Internally within the EU market there is an opportunity for entrepreneurs here; Supply and development of global talents, training, R&D, as well as building and developing infrastructure.