(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Deputy Prime Minister and Representatives of the Vietnamese government,
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honour for Prince Daniel and me to be here today, for the opening of the Sweden-Vietnam Business Summit, in the presence of so many distinguished participants.
I very much appreciate the high-level support for this summit, as well as the warm hospitality shown to us and the whole Swedish delegation.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Vietnam. Our two countries have developed a strong and lasting friendship; a friendship built on trust and mutual respect. We have moved on from aid to trade and we share a strong belief in the future. Now, we are ready to explore that future – together.
Whether in Hanoi or Stockholm, innovative businesses are powerful drivers of change. New ideas, new technologies and new solutions are necessary. Not only for economic growth – but also for a sustainable development.
In my role as Advocate for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, I welcome Vietnam’s commitment to achieve the 2030 Agenda. And I would like to stress that sustainability and trade are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they are both critical to the long-term survival of our planet.
It is true that economic growth creates new challenges, such as pollution of water and air, threatened biodiversity, strained infrastructures and an increased need for water and waste management.
However, growth also creates new resources; resources that facilitate the transition towards more sustainable and resilient societies. The challenges are interrelated – and so are their solutions.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be here together with the largest Swedish business delegation ever to Vietnam, with a total of about 70 people from 50 different companies.
There are great opportunities for closer cooperation between our countries and our companies. And I feel hopeful and optimistic that this Business Summit will contribute to realizing that potential.
Finally, let me also like to take this opportunity to welcome your Prime Minister, his government colleagues and the rest of the Vietnamese delegation to Sweden in just a few weeks. We look very much forward to their visit and to further strengthening and deepening our relations!