Today I visited the Swedish Consulate General in New York, located at 445 Park Avenue in New York. 

In December 2015, the honorary Consulate General of Sweden in New York was upgraded to a full diplomatic mission. The Consulate General focuses on the promotion of Sweden in a broad sense, including trade and investment, cultural and consular affairs.

I was at the Residence at 600 Park Avenue for a meeting with the new Consul General, Mr. Leif Pagrotsky. 

I had a great meeting with Mr. Pagrotsky who I know from before.

Mr. Pagrotsky was Swedish Minister of Industry and Trade of Sweden from 1997 to 2004 – during a very dynamic period of Swedish Customs, when I had the privilige to work in the top management as responsible for reform and development. 

During this period programmes like the Autorized Economic Operator concept (The Stairway), the Single Window, One-Stop-Shop and the Green Corridor were invented, designed, developed and implemented. 

All with the strong visionary political support by Leif.

Consul General Pagrotsky is an internationally acknowledged economist and also one of the most well known and successful politicians of Sweden. A great advocate for trade facilitation and international cooperation. He had an outstanding political career. Mr. Pagrotsky was Minister of Trade and Industy (several times), Minister of Culture and Minister of Education and he has a fantastic international network.

Mr. Pagrotsky has always been an innovative leader who is seeking new solutions and who delivers results. As an example he was the first Minister to publish a joint article with a Chinese Minister in international media, which happened in 2003. 

This is a remarkable article “Making trade easier : Stop the holdups at the border” written by Leif Pagrotsky (when Trade Minister) together with the Chinese Trade Minister at the time, Shi Guangsheng – and published in New York Times (and many other international newspapers). To read the article, click here: NewYorkTimes
It was great to see him again. We had a lot to talk about. 

This week I have been in United States for meetings on security. 

I have had great meetings with numerous of people and we are making progress. 

We have new solutions for the future of trade and it is important to make sure that these solutions are fully compatible with the plans of the Governments in the major trading blocks. 

I am happy to say that after consultation – they are. In fact, more than so. We build the future.

Sweden has the best economic prospects of the Nordic countries, according to an analysis by Moody’s, it was reported yesterday. 

A diversified economy and competitive export companies lay the foundation for it, writes Moody’s, which predicts a growth in Sweden of 3.4 percent this year.

All Nordic countries benefit from the existence of macro-economic stability, the labor force is well educated and the infrastructure is well-developed. But the Norwegian economy is strongly affected by low oil prices. Finland has been in financial difficulties for a long time, and it will take time before growth picks up, Moody’s estimates. The Danish economy is on the way back ro better shape after some tough years due to a collapse of the housing market in 2008.