(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Your Royal Highness,
Prime Minister and Ministers,
Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to Stockholm and Sweden!
And also welcome to all of you participating digitally.
I am delighted to see so many companies from all over the world represented here today. Thanks to the efforts of Business Sweden, you have a very interesting program ahead of you. Prince Daniel and I are very happy to be able to participate – but also to meeting you.
But before we dive into this Summit, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a story – the story of my country.
Don’t worry, it’s the short version!
Once upon a time, Sweden was a small country on the very outskirts of Europe. A beautiful country, but quite poor. Cold, sparsely populated and quite far from the center of attention.
But now, tables have turned.
In order to become the prosperous country that we are today, Sweden has had to open up to the world. To knowledge, to ideas and to people.
My ancestor, King Karl XIV Johan, immigrated from France in the early 19th century. And the Royal Palace, that you can see across the water from this hotel, was inspired by the palaces of France and Italy, and built by artists and craftsmen from all over Europe.
Today, after several centuries of successful trade and international cooperation, working with other countries comes natural to Sweden and Swedish companies. Exports account for half of Sweden’s GDP. And half of Sweden’s export value is generated by foreign-owned companies in Sweden.
People who come here to work or to do business soon realize that here in Sweden, cooperation is not just a buzz word. It is simply how we do things: together.
Furthermore, having strict environmental requirements has given Sweden a head start, and put us at the forefront creating scalable solutions in green technology, sustainable industry and transport.
Sweden is ranked as the most innovative country in the EU and second in the world. The green transition that everyone’s talking about? Here in Sweden is where it’s actually happening!
You remember that small, isolated and remote country that I was telling you about? Today, that country – my country – punches well above its weight in research and innovation.
We have both the ambition and the ability to deliver solutions to the great global challenges.
And we are ready to team up to make it happen.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my country. And I hope that you will be a part of its next chapter.
Once again, a warm welcome. Please Join Sweden, and let’s do this together!