On June 30, 2020 the Swedish Chamber of Commerce conducted their Annual General Meeting 2019. Welcome to read the Words of the Honorary Chairwoman. More Annual Reviews and interviews with Member companies in the Annual Review 2019. https://bit.ly/2CLOxkD
Words of the Honorary Chairwoman
H.E. Annika Markovic, Ambassador of Sweden
2019 was an intense year for the Swedish-Dutch relations and the already strong and dynamic relationship between our countries was reinforced in several aspects. On a political level, the commitment to work closer together was clearly signaled from the eight Swedish Ministers that visited the Netherlands last year, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson to mention a few. As the most likeminded countries in Europe, building even stronger ties between us is a priority for both our governments.
The bilateral collaboration was also reinforced through several newly initiated partnerships and projects, mainly in the innovation and tech sector and in the fields of environment and climate.
The bilateral long-term cooperation in the tech sector that was launched in 2018 resulted in two visits to Sweden in 2019 by State secretary Mona Keijzer and Prince Constantijn. The purpose of those visits was to explore the startup ecosystem in Stockholm, to discuss access to venture capital and the possibility to strengthen women participation in the startup sector. As a follow-up to these visits, The Swedish embassy together with the Swedish Chamber of commerce and Epicenter organized the first edition of TechBridge Sweden-The Netherlands focusing on “Women in tech” in the end of last year. It was a highly interesting talk that you can listen to through our new podcast “Swedish Brains” at Spotify! “Women in Tech” is also a theme for an ongoing dialogue between the Swedish Embassy and the Ministry of Economy and Climate, with the aim to come up with concrete common political actions points together. There is a clear interest from the Dutch government to collaborate further with Sweden on issues related to gender equality in the labor market and in the economy.
In the field of environment, energy transition and green innovations, the collaboration between the Nordic embassies and the Nordic Chambers in the Netherlands continues. We delivered an ambitious program of activities during 2019 focusing on the transition towards a circular economy, using the development of Artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool for more sustainable solutions and energy solutions for green growth. This collaboration has broadened our respective networks, given concrete business opportunities for Swedish companies in the Netherlands and increased our footprint. The support for this collaboration from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the EU-commission has strengthened our message even further.
The Netherlands is just like Sweden a digital and innovative world leader. The Dutch digital and innovation strategy with its top sectors, very much goes in line with Swedish top tech priorities such as energy, food, life science, health and high tech. These are all sectors with great potential for further bilateral cooperation. The embassy will therefore continue to focus on our main priorities, innovation, sustainability and gender equality in the economy for the promotion activities the coming year. These main priorities go well hand in hand with the interests of many of the members of the Swedish Chamber in the Netherlands, which paves the ground for further successful collaboration between the Embassy and the Chamber for the future. Gender equality is core to the Swedish feminist government, but also means smart business for many Swedish companies. It’s often very inspiring to listen and learn how Swedish companies work with improving gender balance and diversity in their markets abroad.
2020 marks a special year for the Swedish Chamber of commerce in the Netherlands as it celebrates its 60-year anniversary in the country. With its current 150 members, the Chamber today plays an important role – not at least for the visibility of Sweden and Swedish companies in the Netherlands. This will be highlighted even more through an ambitious jubilee program by the end of the year. The Swedish Embassy will support this and puts great importance to the collaboration between the Swedish Embassy and the Chamber. We should be proud of the ambitious work that “Team Sweden” did in the Netherlands in 2019 and let’s continue this great collaboration to make 2020 equally successful!
H.E. Annika Markovic, Ambassador of Sweden
Honorary Chairwoman Swedish Chamber of Commerce