2021-12-15

H.M. Konungens tal vid den officiella ceremonin under Sveriges nationella dag på Expo 2020 Dubai, 15 december 2021

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Your Highnesses,
Excellencies,
Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for the warm welcome. I am delighted to be back in the United Arab Emirates and to visit Expo 2020.

When I ascended the throne of Sweden in 1973, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, was the president of the UAE. This young federation was then at the start of its 50-year journey that has led us here today.

Being here reminds me of a quote by Sheikh Zayed that is well-known to all Emiratis:
“A nation without a past is a nation without a present or a future”.

It is inspiring to see that even with the UAE’s impressive development, Emiratis continue to live by his creed. The UAE’s past, present and future is truly reflected here at Expo 2020, as well as throughout this nation. It is my pleasure to congratulate you all on the occasion of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.

Our two countries have excellent bilateral relations and share a desire to strengthen them further. We also face many common challenges, including the need to build sustainable societies and to work together against climate change. In dealing with these challenges, Sweden and the UAE stand united behind one word: innovation.

Innovation has played a crucial role in Sweden’s economic growth and development. This has had profound benefits across all parts of our society. And it still does today:

According to global rankings, Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world. All of Sweden participates in making this possible: women and men, young and old, students, researchers and companies. We innovate together, and we create together.

Meanwhile, the UAE has made innovation a central element of its economic development. It is telling that in 50 years since its creation, the UAE has reached into space, with its ‘Hope’ Mars probe, which will provide new knowledge for the benefit of all.

Furthermore, it is inspiring that 80% of the scientific team of the Emirates Mars Mission are women. It is my hope that the UAE will continue its ambition to include all parts of its society in driving Emirati innovation.

Innovation is not born in a vacuum. Innovation thrives through co-creation. Simply put, we are smarter together, than apart. And through innovation, we are able to find common solutions to common challenges.

This is clearly on display here at Expo2020, including at the Swedish pavilion, The Forest, which displays Swedish innovation and sustainability in practice. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the Pavilion myself. I was proud and pleased with what I saw there, and I invite you all to explore it for yourselves.

The engagement of Swedish companies and organisations is also impressive. Some 143 partners, sponsors, organisations and suppliers have joined us here at Expo 2020.

Expo gives us the possibility to develop innovative solutions, not just for the good of our own country, but for a global market – and the global good. It is a true opportunity for co-creation for innovation.

I am confident that the partnerships created here at Expo will strengthen cooperation between Sweden, the UAE and the countries of the world. And that we will be able to generate new ideas and solutions – together!

I wish you all – participants and visitors alike – an enjoyable and successful Expo 2020 Dubai!

Thank you.