HRH Crown Princess Victoria's speech at the opening of ”Modern Green Cities: Opportunities and Challenges for German and Swedish Business”

Hamburg, Germany

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Mr. Westhagemann,
Senator Horch,
Minister Björling,
Ladies and gentlemen,

For me and Prince Daniel to start our two-day trip to Germany with a visit to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg appears a natural choice.

Sweden's relations with Hamburg have long-standing traditions. We share a mutual trading history around the Baltic Sea through the Hansa. On that solid foundation we have continued to build and enhance our close relations.

Modern society meets challenges unknown in historic times. The condition of the Baltic Sea is one such example.

Although we like to think of ourselves as environmentally aware and technically advanced we cannot hide from the fact that today seven out of the ten largest marine dead zones in the world are located in our Baltic Sea. Big cities are no doubt one of the factors. Cities that were built to cater for the needs of their inhabitants without the modern perspective of sustainability.

The need for sustainable models is no doubt one of the top challenges of our time.

There is no time to waste. This is not a wish for the future. Something has to be done here and now. We cannot afford a plan B since we do not have a planet B.

We have today well working models in both our countries: Hamburg has HafenCity, which we will be visiting this afternoon; Stockholm has Hammarby Sjöstad and Norra Djurgårdsstaden — the latter is still under construction.

These three examples shows us what can be done to integrate sustainability in daily life. Let us learn from each other's experiences and establish the best practices. By doing so, we can develop the concepts and technologies to enable us to meet the business and job opportunities that opens up in the green economy. We should not neglect the fact that there are actual business opportunities and a win-win-situation in such a development.

Today's seminar is an excellent opportunity for German and Swedish business to meet and exchange experiences, and to identify - in the good Hanseatic tradition - opportunities for cooperation in this vital and exciting area.

I wish for all of us gathered here today to find inspiration to make our contribution towards this goal.

Let's make the dream of the modern green city become a reality.