We define a multinational company as an industrial enterprise with at least one manufacturing subsidiary abroad. Our definition is somewhat narrower than that used by the Central Bank of Sweden for foreign direct investment. The Bank's concept also includes investments in pure sales companies, as well as investments in non-industrial activities, such as insurance. Using our definition, there were 118 Swedish multinational companies in 1978. These companies controlled 570 manufacturing subsidiaries abroad, in addition to 1,054 pure sales companies (see Table 3.1). Swedish multinationals had a total of roughly 300,000 employees abroad, three-quarters of them working for subsidiaries with some form of manufacturing activity. We have established a further limit here in stipulating that production must amount to at least 10 per cent of the sales of these subsidiaries' total sales value. This means that manufacturing subsidiaries should not be seen purely as production units but that, in varying degrees, they pursue sales activities for the Swedish company group. Subsidiaries are defined as companies where the Swedish

group holds at least 50 per cent of the share capital. As we have already noted in Chapter 1, several of today’s multi­

nationals moved into foreign markets at a very early stage. Table 3.2 indicates that there were more than 50 manufacturing subsidiaries abroad as early as the late 1920s. Most of today’s major Swedish companies were already multinationals in the period of great economic prosperity that followed the Second World War. Almost half of the considerable number of subsidiaries founded subsequently were set up within the EEC. Two-thirds of the subsidiaries of Swedish multinationals were located in Western Europe in 1978, while only slightly more than 10 per cent were in North America.