The image of Sweden abroad 2023

2023 was a year marked by several major events of different sorts. Qur’an burnings and Sweden’s path towards NATO membership made headlines internationally, as did Loreen’s win in the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as the Swedish national team’s bronze medal in the FIFA Women's World Cup. But what impression did these and other events have on the image of Sweden? Is the image of Sweden changing?

The purpose of this annual report is to provide a summary description of how Sweden is perceived abroad and whether the image of Sweden has been affected in any direction.

Five overarching conclusions

  1. The image of Sweden is stable and positive in large parts of the world. The image has remained stable for several years.

  2. There are parallel and contradictory images of Sweden. In Western countries, the image has improved. Yet, in some Middle Eastern countries, it has deteriorated.

  3. Sweden’s nation brand is strong. Sweden is attractive for trade and investment, the green transition, as well as democracy and strong governance. Through our attractiveness, we compete for talent and investment with some of the world’s strongest economies

  4. There are groups who deliberately want to damage the image of Sweden by linking events in Sweden and Sweden’s position to global areas of conflict. Disinformation about Sweden is a challenge.
  5. Sweden’s strong nation brand, attractiveness and relations with the rest of the world form a basis for resilience against disinformation. It is important to continue to have an international presence as well as a dialogue and exchange of experiences with other countries.

Read the report: The image of Sweden abroad 2023