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.

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.



Board of Directors

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. 

Annika Berglund 

Anna Medvedeva

Magnus Nordéus

Ann-Sofie Zaks                        

Johan Sahlén                         

Lena Bertilsson
Exportkreditnämnden (EKN)

Tony Lindström
Volvo Group

Henrik Petersson
Saab AB

Kristoffer Hessedahl
Sandvik AB

Filip Elveling           
Hitatchi Energy

Camilla Goldbeck-Löwe 
Epiroc AB

Daniel Lundgren
Siemens Energy AB

Jonas Strömberg
Scania CV AB

Pontus Davidsson                          
Svensk Exportkredit (SEK)

Christine Bäckström                       

Eija Hietavou
Tetra Laval Group

Paul Palmstedt
AB Electrolux

Anna Sjörén
Atlas Copco AB

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.

NIR By-Laws

Our bylaws define the structure and regulations that govern our organization, outlining roles, responsibilities, and procedural rules.

Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct guides and strengthens our internal and external anti-corruption and risk management processes.

Our 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​

A intro to NIR


This executive summary presents the findings from the study “Workplace Cooperation: Finding Practical Solutions in the Colombian Context,” conducted by the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP). The study evaluates the added value of the Swedish Workplace Programme (SWP) dialogue and cooperation model within the Colombian labor market.

Throughout 2022, FIP dedicated efforts to thoroughly understand the SWP model, including its concept, foundations, implementation process, and contributions to the labor market. In 2023, FIP documented the experiences of three companies—SKF Latin Trade, Securitas, and Epiroc—that implemented the SWP model in practice. The study also included face-to-face workshops to gather feedback from various stakeholders including civil society, businesses, government, academia, and international cooperation. The findings suggest that the SWP model has the potential to strengthen labor relations, contribute to decent work, and resolve workplace conflicts in Colombia.

The case studies highlight the importance of collaboration between employers and workers to promote decent work and sustainable development in Colombia. They demonstrate that social dialogue facilitates worker participation in labor decision-making, enhances their representativeness, and promotes cooperation between employers and employees, thus improving labor relations and contributing to the well-being of both employees and companies.

The SWP model is particularly noted for improving workplace relationships and commitment to jointly finding solutions to challenges faced by workers and the company. It empowers workers, enhances leadership, and helps integrate business policies into daily practices, reducing the initial disconnect between management objectives and the day-to-day realities of workers. The study also highlights the model’s capacity to manage conflicts constructively, transforming the perception of conflict as an opportunity for improvement. Structured dialogues deepen understanding of the underlying causes of conflicts, fostering empathy and facilitating effective resolution. This promotes a culture of collaboration and a democratic approach to decision-making, building trust.

Additionally, the model is recognized for enabling workers to make decisions, identify challenges, and propose solutions that impact their well-being, and bridging gender gaps in the workplace. Its inclusive approach adapts to the unique needs and characteristics of each company, promoting a stronger and more diverse organizational culture. It also drives good work performance and productivity by involving workers in problem identification and resolution, as well as in implementing improvements and efficiently identifying ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) risks for companies.

The document identifies the SWP model’s added value in empowering direct interaction among labor stakeholders in Colombia, overcoming historical or cultural reservations, and contributing to the development of stronger labor relations and improved workplace environments in the country.

Challenges and opportunities of the model are also discussed. The study points out the importance of addressing value chain risks, particularly in a global context where corporate clients demand decent work processes and due diligence. It emphasizes the need to integrate SMEs into this process and use anchor companies as drivers of social dialogue throughout the value chain. The role of the state in social dialogue and the importance of highlighting the benefits of the model for adoption across various business sectors are discussed.

The opportunities of the model include raising awareness of human rights in the workplace in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP), to strengthen due diligence, manage risks, promote long-term sustainability, and improve organizational culture. The document also underscores the importance of involving workers in change processes, leveraging their insights for continuous improvement of processes, and fostering innovation opportunities. Lastly, it suggests replicating the model in value chains to address work environment risks and gender biases, involving suppliers and contractors, and integrating the model into corporate policies to strengthen existing programs and transform organizational culture towards resource efficiency and effective participation of employers and workers.