Q: What makes Malmö attractive to FDI?

A: We live in a global world. Although we only have 334,000 inhabitants, we have citizens from 181 different nationalities, so it’s as diverse as London and New York. So we have worldwide networks and 40% of citizens are younger than 29. We’ve put a lot of effort into creating a sustainable city. We work closely with the private sector when we develop new city areas.

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Because we’re growing so fast, we need lots of investment in housing, offices and community services. We are near Copenhagen and Hamburg, so that’s an area with 11 million inhabitants. It’s only two-and-a-half hours by train to Hamburg from Malmö. Our three cities are often in discussion as we want to increase connectivity.

We must make the most of our geographic location. Next to Copenhagen’s, our labour market is very big. We are planning to dock our cities through another fixed link by fusing our metro systems together.   

We have a really fast growing start-up scene in tech. For example, the gaming industry has Massive Entertainment here, which is expanding very fast. There are many companies developing new energy solutions. We have many universities here and the only UN university in Sweden: the World Maritime University. We also have co-operation with the Danish universities.

Q: Why is Malmö known for its sustainable energy innovations?

A: When transforming Malmö from its industrial past, we really focused on environmental sustainability with high-level technical solutions and high political ambitions. We have a worldwide reputation for our work in Western Harbour, which is we get international academic study visits. We are finding solutions that cities worldwide need to use. For example, we recently released SKr1.3bn [$147m] of green bonds for private investors to buy, and we’ve had major interest from lots of major companies wanting to be part of our sustainability work. We are working intensively with sustainability solutions, so those companies are very welcome.

Q: What makes Malmö’s real estate interesting to foreign investors?

A: I see a growing interest from real estate because we are growing very fast. Living prices here are much lower compared with Stockholm. You can stay in the centre affordably. We are planning a huge new city district close to the central station, among others. We are trying to make the city more dense, and are looking for real estate refurbishment. We have a broad variety of opportunities – and a good return.