HM The King's speech at Business Forum during the state visit from Finland

Grand Hôtel, Stockholm

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Mr President,
Mr Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Finland and Sweden share more than 600 years of common history.

Today, we are closer than perhaps ever in modern times. The vibrant and diverse trade between Finland and Sweden is a testament to this. Additionally, the number of sectors represented in this room is a powerful reflection of the strong business ties between our countries.

Industries, companies, and innovation networks in both Finland and Sweden are excellent examples of a truly international business climate. Our business environments are, in fact, so integrated that some of our largest companies originate in both countries. In Sweden, there are more than 800 Finnish companies employing almost 80,000 people.

Even though our countries may be relatively small in a global context, Finland and Sweden are at the forefront of innovation, technological advancement, and digitalisation. This is a significant reason why we are here today.

The theme of this seminar is innovation and strengthened competitiveness with a focus on how Finland and Sweden can fortify the region in a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

Some argue that the current technological revolution is happening faster than any notable change in history.

Artificial intelligence is a technological development with the potential to transform societies. It is a process that takes place here and now.

Finland is Sweden's closest partner. Finnish and Swedish companies have excellent opportunities to deepen cooperation in the digital transformation. By enhancing our collaboration even further, there is an opportunity to strengthen the competitiveness of our countries globally.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The theme of this afternoon's seminar could not be more relevant. I look forward to listening to the discussions on how we can collaborate to further strengthen our ties. Together, Finland and Sweden have to continue to lead the way in innovation and technology.

Thank you.