Name / Title

Developing contacts in China

Case Study Region

Övre Norrland, Sweden

Geographical coverage

Municipality of Kalix



Main activity / focus

Supporting business development through establishments of international contacts

Target beneficiaries / market

Businesses in the municipality of Kalix

Year established



Current Funding source(s)

The municipality of Kalix
The city of Lanzhou, China
The Chamber of Commerce in Norbotten
Some support from the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities 


The municipality of Kalix, Sweden
The city of Lanzhou, China
The Chamber of Commerce in Norbotten 






All of the municipality of Kalix is comparatively rural. The municipal capital is the largest town with about 6000 inhabitants. The second largest town has a little more than 1000 inhabitants. The municipality is located on the coast and is comparatively small geographically. Hence the distances are not very long and the public business development office has a good overview of the businesses in the area (Interview with Head of Business development office at the municipality of Kalix, 2010.12.15).

After the last election a political decision to focus on increased internationalisation among businesses was taken in the municipality of Kalix. As a result of this a number of different “internationalisation projects” have been developed by the public business development office in cooperation with other actors. One of these is the project focusing on business development in cooperation with the Chinese city of Lanzhou. The project has been developed by the municipal business development office in Kalix and authorities in China.

For three years now work has been carried out to establish networks between public as well as private actors in Kalix and Lanzhou. The aim of the municipality of Kalix is to support local businesses in working with Chinese actors and getting access to the Chinese markets.

The first contacts where established during a UN transport conference in 2007 where Kalix shone light on the possibilities of a east-west railway connecting Asia with Europe and or North America via northern Sweden (Kalix). At national level in China this rendered a lot of interest. As a result a city in the middle of China with a strategic position in the Chinese railway net was chosen to develop a relationship with the municipality of Kalix. Today there is even a person from China working at the municipal office in Kalix. A number of trips to China with local businesses of different sectors have been carried out and Chinese authorities and firms will make a similar trip to Kalix during 2011.

Today the cooperation is extensive and the Chinese city would like to develop it further. The municipality of Kalix is however very small compared to the city of Lanzhou with 3 million inhabitants. The restricted resources in Kalix and the will to enable firms from all over the county of Norrbotten to develop contacts in China has made the municipality cooperate with the regional Chamber of commerce. The later will take over responsibility and further develop the cooperation. (Interview with Head of Business development office at the municipality of Kalix, 2010.12.15)


Contact details


Per Hallqvist
Head of Business development office at the municipality of Kalix
0923-650 95