State visits are exchanges of visits between heads of state, and signify good relationships between Sweden and the foreign nation.
The foundations are laid for personal relationships and increased trade and cultural exchanges between the countries.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs makes suggestions for state visits. These are presented to The King by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. An invitation from The King and Queen is then sent to the head of state of the country in question.
At outgoing state visits, representatives from the Swedish Government accompany The King and Queen on the visit. As a general rule, the programme covers two or three days and follows the country's traditions and ceremonial patterns.
Foreign heads of state and government carry out equivalent visits to Sweden. These are hosted by The King, and are known as incoming state visits.
Watch a film from the welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm for the Finnish state visit on 17 April 2012.