Sweden and Swedosh Government invests heavily in promoting Swedish companies’ innovations and business in Silicon Valley.
In February, the newly opened consulate general in California is inaugurated under the leadership of Anna Lekvall. “Watching technological innovations such as artificial intelligence is an important part of our mission,” she says in an interview.
The new Swedish Consulate General is located on the 13th floor at 595 Market Street in San Francisco’s financial district.
General Consul Anna Lekvall believes that the increasing interest from Swedish business in technological development makes Silicon Valley an important hub for a trade promotion authority.
”Therefore, it was natural to locate the new consulate general here in San Francisco”, she says.
”Monitoring technological innovations such as artificial intelligence is definitely part of our mission, but as I see it, AI is not an area in itself, but rather something that is part of several sectors that are prioritized, such as the green transition and life science”.
Anna Lekvall herself comes most recently from a post as general consul in Mumbai, India. She sees the similarities between the assignments:
”The conditions are different here, but there is a lot of innovation power in India and the consulate has a lot of contact and collaborations with the business world, and green transition was an important issue in India as well”.
How does she see the current debate about AI? ”In the long-term perspective, there is enormous potential for productivity and efficiencies, but we must at the same time discuss the risks and implement important policies. There is a lot of knowledge acquisition going on right now, and a colleague described it as demystifying AI. The Consulate General can hopefully contribute by sharing knowledge and making it easier for Swedish actors to take advantage of these opportunities”, says Anna Lekvall.