Sweden and the United Kingdom are both members of the European Union (EU). Twelve of these nations are tied together with the common currency, the Euro, and the EU's remaining members are obligated to join by treaty once they meet specific criteria. Sweden and the UK have made no plans as of yet to change to the Euro. The EU is the world's largest economy, which is projected to grow at a rate of 2.1% per year. The Growth and Stability Pact insures that each state's deficit doesn't exceed 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and its public debt must remain below 60% of their GDP.
The United Kingdom is one of the best places in the world to do stem cell research. This is because of the strong history in stem cell biology in the UK, the tight regulatory system administered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the strong commitment we have, both financially and politically, from the government." (Rehwagen).
Simon Best, chairman elect of the United Kingdom Bio Industry Association, also said that, "Australia, the U.K., some U.S. states, and Sweden are world class in this field. The U.K. is in a good position to build on the talents." (Rehwagen).
Currently, Sweden is in a phase of economic growth. ...
Sweden has a population estimated in 2006 at 9,103,551, with a highly skilled workforce. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Sweden as third in their survey of 104 economies and their capacity for future growth. ("Economy of the European Union"). Business growth in Sweden is deemed successful due to many factors such as: a very healthy macro-economic environment, easy access to advanced technologies, qualified workforce, good infrastructure, and competitive costs for staff, rent, and business expenses. The unemployment rate of Sweden is highly contested among political officials but the official figure is currently at 5.4% (2006.) ("Sweden."). Many Swedes also choose to work abroad in neighboring countries such as Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
In relation to this, Sweden has had one of the highest tax quotas in the world since the 1960's. Countries such as France, Belgium, and Denmark have very similar taxation rates. Sweden's taxation plan is known as a two-step progressive plan. The average municipal income tax is around 31% to 56% and a capital tax rate of a flat 30%. Single persons with a net wealth more than 1,500,000 Swedish Kroner (SEK) (equivalent to 111,280) are taxed a flat rate of 1.5%. ("Economy of the European Union."). Employers are obligated to pay a 32% tax which is called an "employers fee." Other taxes in Sweden include the national Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18% or 25%, food carries a 12% VAT, and transportation and books are taxed at 6%. Miscellaneous items such as petroleum and alcohol are taxed at higher rates. Due to the high tax rates, Swedes are eligible for many government funded benefits such as: