(Det talade ordet gäller)
Friends of French-Swedish business relations,
I am sure you all are aware of my family´s close ties to France. Ever since Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte came to Sweden, almost 200 years ago, there has been a notion of a special friendship between our two countries.
Therefore it is important to Sweden as a nation but also to me as a person that the relations continue to be deep and warm. Sweden has had a Chamber of Commerce in France since 1915, serving the Swedish companies working on the French market. It seems to have been very successful — today Sweden is the fourth largest foreign investor in France.
Ever since the famous Sweden House on Champs Elysées was closed in the sixties Sweden has been missing a commercial centre in Paris. With these new localities in the midst of the city´s business quarters Swedish companies in Paris will have a new forum and platform to reach out to the French market from.
As you might be aware of I have just addressed the UNESCO General Conference where I was invited to speak about global warming and sustainable development. In this field Swedish companies are involved in advanced research and production processes, an advantage that could be used also on the French market, I believe.
I have been told that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce attaches great value to sustainable development which has been an important factor in the investment that has resulted in this beautiful business center. Many Swedish companies have been involved in the project and I am sure it will attract even more once it is operating in full scale.
I wish to congratulate the Chamber and its member companies to this new platform of cooperation, for the best of you and for the best of Sweden in France.
With these words I have the great pleasure to declare the new Swedish Business Center in Paris open.