It’s been a busy first quarter at AmCham Sweden connecting members, hosting talks by global thought leaders and seminars, and engaging with stakeholders at policy-shaping roundtables.
We were also proud to be at the Hannover Messe in partnership with our friends at Business Sweden and the Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in Sweden to highlight the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative. Because pushing innovation in the advanced manufacturing sector increasingly hinges on the success of cross-border cooperation, the initiative aims to bring together American and Swedish experts, stakeholders, and manufacturing companies of all sizes to foster the conditions that will lead to greater investment and more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and Sweden.
Informing government officials about issues faced by the Swedish-American business community is a key component of AmCham’s mission. Last month, we hosted two roundtables with officials and policymakers. This allowed our member companies to engage in an open dialogue and both learn about government priorities and provide information to educate policymakers and us in our work with other AmChams, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other stakeholders to highlight issues and possible legislative and regulatory solutions.
Today, we are focused on the many challenges and opportunities surrounding digitalization, from privacy and security to data flow and content. And because 75% of global digital content is produced in Europe and North America, it is critical to get these issues right.
This point is driven home in The Transatlantic Economy 2019 survey. The fact is that the transatlantic economy is the largest, most prosperous and most innovative in the world. No two regions in the world are as deeply integrated as the U.S. and Europe. And it is an economy that continues to grow, representing one third of global GDP and employing 16 million people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Focusing on Sweden and the U.S., Swedish companies employ nearly 220,000 people in the U.S., and U.S. companies employ more than 70,000 people in Sweden. What is more, U.S. firms invested more than $34 billion in Sweden in 2018 – an increase of more than $7 billion over 2017, and Swedish companies invested nearly $60 billion in the U.S. -- $4 billion more than in 2017.
In conjunction with The Transatlantic Economy 2019 survey, we have helped launch Thriving Together http://www.thrivingtogether.eu/ - a platform highlighting the benefits of free trade that contains key facts and data to underpin dialogue with policymakers and the public.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be hosting a number of programs to build on that success and bring members together to expand networks and knowledge and broaden our ongoing dialogues with policymakers, including:
April 10: 2019 Economic Outlook with Michael Grahn, Chief Economist, Danske Bank
April 11: First Impressions: Sweden’s Spring Budget Bill
May 21: Annual General Meeting
May 27: Harvard Business Review Press thought leadership series on Driving Digital Strategy with Sunil Gupta, Harvard Business School
July 2-4: Almedalen, including America Day on July 2, featuring our talent mobility project with the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce and the Swedish Institute (https://sacc-usa.org/trainee/for-companies/swedish-companies/american-talent-for-swedish-business/); and a talk by a White House correspondent.
In addition, our Mentoring Program - the only English-speaking program of its kind in Sweden - will soon be accepting applications for the 2019-2020 program.
As always, AmCham is at its heart the people who co-create our business community. So please avail yourselves of the many ways you and your colleagues can engage to make connections, share knowledge, and shape policy. If you know of any companies that are not yet members, please encourage them to join - and invite them to an upcoming program.
All the best,
Peter R. Dahlen
American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden