Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
(Det talade ordet gäller)
Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Friends of French-Swedish business relations,
It has been only a few weeks since terrorism once again struck Paris.
On November 13, 130 people lost their lives.
Many more were bereaved of their most loved ones.
The attacks left us all in shock and grief.
The massacre was not merely an attack on our friends, the people of France.
It was an attack on our way of life. On the open society and the ideas upon which it is founded.
The very same ideas that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce is working to promote.
France and Sweden have a strong and warm relationship.
While we are two quite different countries, we have a lot in common.
Throughout history, many Swedes have come to France.
To work, to do business, or merely to enjoy life.
Some have travelled the other way instead. As you may know, my own ancestor, Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, came to Sweden over 200 years ago. He would later be known as Kung Karl den XIV Johan.
Many years later, his great-grandson, my great-grandfather, Gustav den V, became the first patron of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Paris.
Over the last century, the Chamber of Commerce has been an important link between Sweden and France.
Our mutual trade and exchange has been successful and beneficial for both countries.
Today, many of the largest Swedish companies are represented here in France, in sectors ranging from manufacturing to retail and health care. These businesses bring revenue to Sweden. But they also bring valuable knowledge.
Learning from each other.
Sharing knowledge across national borders.
This is what we will have to do in order to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to attend the COP21 here in Paris.
The expectations for this meeting are high. As they should be.
Our planet may be close to a critical tipping point and this is a time to make real decisions.
In this critical situation, I am glad to be able to say that Swedish enterprises and scientists are making great progress in developing solutions for a sustainable future.
With this, I would like to congratulate the Chamber of Commerce on one hundred successful years.
And I wish you the best of luck with the next hundred to come.
I believe the occasion calls for a good old Swedish “fyrfaldigt leve”. Den leve!
Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! Hurra!
I also propose a toast: Skål!