(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to Ludvika! And to our foreign guests: an especially warm welcome to Sweden.
It is an honour to be here today to celebrate ABB’s 120 years in Ludvika – and to wish you well on your continued journey ahead with the new Hitachi ABB Power Grids joint venture.
Ladies and gentlemen. The world is caught in a pandemic, with devastating impact on people and societies. It affects everyone, everywhere.
The covid-19 pandemic has also showed the crucial need for robust electricity distribution and increased interconnectedness.
Reliable energy services are key to preventing disease and fighting pandemics: They power healthcare facilities. They supply clean water. They enable us to communicate while maintaining social distancing.
Indeed, electricity is not just about keeping the lights on. It’s about making the world a safer and healthier place, and tackling the great challenges of our time.
And travelling to different parts of the world, it always makes me proud to see pioneering technology developed here in Ludvika, contributing to a positive and sustainable development globally.
Ladies and gentlemen. In a way, the story of Ludvika is the story of Sweden. We have come from poverty to prosperity thanks to talented and hard-working men and women, from Sweden and beyond. Openness to the world has spurred innovation. It has given us knowledge and connections, leading to global trade and partnerships.
The new Hitachi ABB Power Grids joint venture is a fine example of such a partnership.
Sweden and Japan share a constant drive for innovation and the courage to aim for only the best.
Through our long history of trade and cooperation, our two countries have built a warm and solid friendship. Their Majesties the King and Queen have travelled to Japan on many occasions, for example in 2018 to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between our countries. And last year, His Majesty and my wife – The Crown Princess – travelled to Tokyo for the enthronement ceremonies of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Naruhito.
I would like to convey our best wishes for the new Hitachi ABB Power Grids joint venture – and that the fruitful business cooperation between Sweden and Japan can be even further strengthened.
I wish you the best of luck.