About us

NIR promotes conducting economically, socially and environmentally sustainable business in complex markets.

Who we are

NIR is a member-based non-profit organisation. Our members represent some of Sweden’s largest export companies and the financial sector. NIR has 14 employees in Stockholm and regional coordinators in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Hanoi and Bogotá.

NIR’s Board of Directors gathers high-level representatives from our member companies and organisations.

A brief history

⦁ Dr Marcus Wallenberg  founded NIR in 1960 as the Swedish Industry’s Council for Foreign Affairs.

⦁ NIR’s focus shifted from the European Economic Community in the 1960s to emerging markets in the late 1970s, and then to complex markets in 2006.

⦁ As the boundaries between political and sustainability risks in complex markets are often vague, the focus has shifted towards mitigating risks by promoting sustainability.

Watch the below video about NIR

NIR's role

NIR brings members together to identify common challenges and opportunities in complex markets.

Through NIR Swedish business collaborate with other stakeholders with the common goal of promoting and enabling environment for conducting economically, socially and environmentally sustainable business.

Since 1960, NIR has worked in countries with higher levels of challenges and risks but that have long-term business potential for Swedish industry. Such challenges and risks have changed over time and the focus on sustainability has become imperative. Today, NIR continues to work in complex markets with a particular focus on sustainability and ESG-related challenges.

NIR is a link between development aid and trade by collaborating with stakeholders, ranging from governments, authorities and academia to non-governmental organisations and companies, both in Sweden and in partner countries. For more than a decade, NIR has collaborated with Swedish and partner country trade unions.

Insights from the private sector on challenges and opportunities lay the foundation for the design and implementation of NIR’s capacity development programmes in OECD-DAC countries. NIR’s external programmes are funded by grants from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

As a non-profit organisation, NIR is a neutral partner, which contributes to its credibility in partnerships and activities in programme countries.

How we work

Regardless of the business model or industry, companies operating in complex markets face similar challenges. By working together with our members and partners, NIR improves business conditions and supports market development to pave the way for more sustainable business, as well as to increase the demand for sustainable solutions.

NIR is a meeting point for our members by:

  • identifying challenges, such as sustainability risks, and opportunities in selected markets; 
  • facilitating exchange between members on how to effectively manage challenges and risks in complex markets; 
  • acting as a nexus between the private and public sectors;
  • collaborating with partners and stakeholders to improve business conditions in complex markets; 
  • adding value to the Swedish presence in complex markets; and
  • implementing programmes to bring partners and stakeholders together to promote social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Unite members

Identify challenges and opportunities

Shape initiatives

Partner with others

Implement initiatives


NIR is a member-based organisation and each of our member companies is represented as a member of the Board of Directors. Our members represent some of Sweden’s largest export companies and financial sector.


NIR By Laws

Code of conduct

NIR’s Code of Conduct strengthens its internal and external anti-corruption and risk management processes, while also emphasising a policy of zero tolerance for any form of bribery or corruption at all levels of our operations. The Code of Conduct is available at: NIR Code of Conduct

Whistleblower function

NIR has zero tolerance for any form of bribery and corruption and we are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards in accordance with our Code of Conduct. NIR’s Whistleblower function is an important tool in ensuring that we comply with these values. We encourage and expect all relevant parties to speak up and report any behaviour in relation to NIR’s operations that is unethical, illegal or contrary to NIR’s Code of Conduct.


The Board of Directors is comprised of a Chair  and a representative from each member company and organisation. The Annual General Meeting elects the Chair, member companies and organisations of the Board. 

Board of Directors

NIR’s engaged Board of Directors is comprised of high-level representatives from our member companies and organisations. 

Annika Berglund 

Lena Bertilsson
Exportkreditnämnden (EKN)

Camilla Goldbeck-Löwe 
Epiroc AB

Eija Hietavou
Tetra Laval Group

Anna Medvedeva

Tony Lindström
Volvo Group

Daniel Lundgren
Siemens Energy AB

Paul Palmstedt
AB Electrolux

Magnus Nordéus

Henrik Petersson
Saab AB

Lisa Osbäck
Scania CV AB

Anna Sjörén
Atlas Copco

Ann-Sofie Zaks                        

Kristoffer Hessedahl
Sandvik AB

Pontus Davidsson                          
Svensk Exportkredit (SEK)

Johan Sahlén                         

Filip Elveling           
Hitatchi Energy

Christine Bäckström                       

NIR's staff

NIR’s headquarters is located at Sturegatan 11 in Stockholm, Sweden, and regional coordinators are located in Bogotá, Hanoi, Johannesburg and Nairobi.

Find more about NIR’s staff under the CONTACT page.



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers