Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for the Queen and myself to be present at the opening of this important Business Seminar.
Mr. President, we are honoured that you and so many distinguished representatives of the Ukrainian government and business community are here with us today.
Against the background of the long historical ties between our two countries, it is gratifying to learn that trade relations between Ukraine and Sweden are lively and constantly growing. Swedish companies have been present here since independence, and Swedish investments have grown rapidly during the last years. Today there are about 35 Swedish companies present here, and Sweden is now among the ten leading investors in Ukraine. Many Swedish brand names are well known on the Ukrainian market.
The size and composition of the Swedish trade delegation — including both big and small companies from different areas of activity - is very good illustration of the importance that Sweden attaches to the Ukrainian market.
The wide range of participants today, both from Sweden and Ukraine, provides us with great opportunities to share further knowledge and experience between our countries. We are very much looking forward to the presentations on business opportunities and the investment climate in Ukraine.
Tomorrow, another seminar will bring forward the possibilities for Ukrainan companies to supply Swedish companies with goods and services. There will also be a seminar about renewable energy, a topic which is very important in this day and age.
Personally, I am deeply engaged in environmental matters and I am pleased to know that Sweden makes its contribution when it comes to energy savings and efficient use of energy resources in Ukraine. There is a lot more to be done in this field and I am sure that we can make it together to the benefit of both our countries.
I am convinced that the seminar today and tomorrow here in Kiev will contribute to a better business climate and thus develop the business relations between our countries. We have a lot of knowledge and experience to share and, in that spirit, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I look forward to a successful and interesting seminar and to continued fruitful cooperation at all levels between our countries.