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Greens and Left best for business: survey

Sweden’s Green Party has the best ideas to help the country’s small business owners, a new survey reveals, with the Left Party ranking a close second.

According to a survey carried out by the Swedish Federation of Business Owners (Företagarna), a proposal by the Green Party to lower payroll taxes is the most beneficial for small businesses.

The proposal, which calls for a 10 percent reduction in payroll taxes on wage payments up to 2.5 million kronor ($360,000), was viewed favourably by 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.

And a proposal by the Left Party which would absolve companies with fewer than 10 employees from the need to cover sick pay expenditures was seen as extremely beneficial to Sweden’s small business climate by 50 percent of business owners, according to the survey.

The third best proposal came from the Centre Party, which called for the scrapping of rules requiring that the last employee hired is the first one fired at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Currently, only companies with fewer than 10 employees are allowed to partly sidestep the rule.

In order to protect the survey results from being skewed by party loyalties, respondents were not allowed to see which political parties put forward each proposal.

While the results of the survey were somewhat surprising, Företagarna CEO Anna-Stina Nordmark Nilsson remained circumspect about their significance.

“It’s one thing to propose business-friendly reforms, and another thing to implement them. Therefore, we plan to follow up with the parties to see if they actually push for their proposals. And with a year left until the election, it’s high time to start doing so,” she said in a statement.

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ABB

Swedish engineering giant ABB to quit Russia over Ukraine

Swedish-Swiss engineering giant ABB said on Thursday it will quit Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine and the related international sanctions against Moscow.

Swedish engineering giant ABB to quit Russia over Ukraine

Russia accounts for only one or two percent of ABB’s overall annual turnover and the decision to pull out will have an estimated financial impact in the second quarter of around $57 million, the group calculated.

“ABB has decided to exit the Russian market due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and impact of related international sanctions,” the group said in a statement.

Russia accounts for only one or two percent of ABB’s overall annual sales and the decision to pull out will have an estimated financial impact in the second quarter of around $57 million, the group calculated.

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A large number of major western companies have pulled out of Russia since Moscow invaded its pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

“When the war broke out, ABB stopped taking new orders in Russia,” the group said.

At the same time, it said it continued to fulfill “a small number of existing contractual obligations with local customers, in compliance with applicable sanctions.”

Most of ABB’s dedicated Russian workforce has been on leave since March “and the company will do its best to support them as it realigns its operations in a controlled manner,” it said.

ABB has about 750 people in Russia and two production sites in the country located in the Moscow region and Lipetsk, as well as several service centres.

Separately, the group said that its net profit fell by 50 percent to $379 million in the second quarter, largely as a result of one-off charges, but also the cost of withdrawing from Russia.

Sales, on the other hand, grew by six percent to $7.2 billion in the period from April to June, ABB said.

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