(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to Stockholm and the Royal Palace.
I am delighted to receive this distinguished delegation of business leaders from Japan. And of course I am happy to welcome also your Swedish hosts to this meeting.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Japan. For this reason, Her Majesty the Queen and I travelled to Japan in April on an official visit.
I have personally visited Japan a number of times. And it has been a great pleasure for Her Majesty the Queen and me to receive their Imperial Majesties in Sweden on different occasions.
During our visit in April, I attended the Japanese-Swedish Business Summit.
I was most impressed by the exchange between business leaders from our two countries. It is evident that we have already come far in terms of economic and technological interaction between Japan and Sweden. But I also got a clear impression from these exchanges that we still have a great, joint potential ahead of us.
After the summit, I had the pleasure of being invited to the Keidanren head quarter in Tokyo, for an early morning briefing and discussion.
Some of you were present at that meeting. I believe you will agree with me that we had a most interesting discussion. We talked, among other things, about trade, innovation and future opportunities for further cooperation between Japan and Sweden.
Now, I am delighted to see this dialogue continue here in Stockholm!
Through our long history of trade and cooperation, Sweden and Japan have built a solid friendship. And what could be a better way to honour that friendship, than to plan ahead – to explore new opportunities for trade and investments in both directions, and to build even stronger ties for the future?
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you a pleasant, rewarding and fruitful stay here in Sweden.
Now, I am very much looking forward to hear your views on how to best promote the Swedish-Japanese industrial and commercial cooperation.
I give the floor first to Ambassador Hiroki, who has just started his mission in Sweden, and then to Mrs. Ylva Berg, CEO of Business Sweden.
Once again, a warm welcome!