HRH The Crown Princess' opening speech at the French-Swedish Business Summit
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for the welcoming words.
I am delighted to be back in France and to meet old and new friends from the Swedish-French business, cultural and educational worlds.
And I am honoured to open today’s French-Swedish Business Summit on a subject which is especially close to my heart – The de-carbonisation of economies and the urgency of a worldwide green transformation.
Sweden and France have historically strong relations with ties that are intimately linked to my personal family history.
Ever since Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascended the Swedish throne in 1818, my father, the King of Sweden, and his ancestors have strived to strengthen and secure the relations that have united our countries for centuries.
Personally, I have had the privilege of staying in France for longer periods of time, and have also accomplished many official missions here throughout the years. So, indeed, France has a special place in my heart.
We live in a global, strongly competitive and environmentally threatened world. It is vital that we increase cross boarder collaborations and develop mutual understanding to carry the development forward.
Right now, the European Union is investing over 1.1 billion euros into large-scale innovative projects aiming to bring breakthrough technologies for decarbonisation to the market. Out of only seven projects granted support, one, the K6 program, is French, and two are Swedish.
I am following these and other initiatives with great interest, and I hope that they will provide us with plenty of opportunities to learn from each other.
With the strong ties and the common value base we share, I am convinced that Sweden and France together can contribute to tackling the challenges we face.
Today, France is Sweden’s ninth export and tenth import market. Swedish companies are among the leading foreign investors in France with over 460 subsidiaries creating more than 95 000 jobs, and France is among the 10 largest foreign investors in Sweden.
The Strategic Swedish - French “Partnership for Innovation and Green Solutions” signed in Gothenburg, Sweden, by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in November 2017 is an important foundation that brings our countries, companies, and institutions closer together.
By joining forces, we develop products and solutions that address the European and global environmental and societal challenges. Several important partnerships have already been concluded.
I look forward to new creative collaborative developments and today’s sharing of innovative new technologies for a better world. I hereby declare the French-Swedish Business Summit open!