Angela Merkel welcomed the new partnership between the countries when she held the opening address in an overfull Wallenberg Auditorium at IVA.
“This is an excellent example of how we can bring our countries closer together,” she said.
She reminded the audience that Sweden and Germany have a strong tradition of trading with each other. She also pointed out that there are many Swedish companies that are successful in Germany. And vice versa.
“Sweden is important to Germany. Both countries stand for democratic values and have similar ways of doing business.”
The Chancellor highlighted the importance of paying attention to the challenges and opportunities that come with digitalisation.
“Digitalisation goes beyond technology. It impacts all aspects of our working lives.”
She believes it is important to act quickly so as not to fall behind.
Angela Merkel also pointed out that even after Brexit the internal market consists of several hundred million people.
Free trade is an essential issue. And both countries are role models here. The Chancellor said she is hoping for a free trade agreement with the USA, but assumes that it will be more difficult to achieve than the agreement with Canada announced by the EU last year.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also highlighted the many similarities between Germany and Sweden.
“I have great respect for Germany’s innovative capacity,” he said and mentioned in particular that Sweden can learn from Germany Industry 4.0.
“Sweden has a lot to gain from deeper cooperation.”
He also emphasised that, when it comes to new innovative tech companies, the only place hotter than Stockholm is Silicon Valley.
“We were the first in the world to electrify a public road. The electric road outside Sandviken is an example of a German-Swedish collaboration. Here, we went from vision to reality,” he says.
See the full video from the seminar below.