The industry of Sweden was built on resources such as timber, iron and water power. These factors explain Swedish competitiveness in economic sectors such as metals, forest products, transportation equipment and power generation. Sweden’s settlement structure has also been influenced by geographical conditions. In contrast to the common picture of Europe with industrial belts of industries, Swedish settlement is characterized by activities located like islands in sparsely populated areas — a ‘punctual’ structure. At the same time, the layout of the country, given its long distances between resources, has been a driving force encouraging the development of transport systems for both electric power and telecommunications.