The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published an article about International Monetary Funds (IMF) predictions on increase of world trade and its positive impact for growth of our societies.

There is wide consensus that liberalization of trade and FDI can lead to improved resource allocation across firms and sectors, boosting productivity and output. 

We have for long known that trade barriers are damaging for finacial growth. So trade facilitation is necessary for development.

If you want to read the article, click here: How IMF thinks trafe can boost growth

An hour ago Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his new club, Manchester United. 

Ibra will join Jose Mourinhos new team to reclaim the Premier League title. And what a derby it will be towards Pep Guardiolas Man City! 

This has been a well kept secret. Now it is official. This will be a great season. 

Ibra arrives to England to conquer a new country, a new league, a new club, new titles. 

British media writes tonight: “He is the largest, global superstar that United have ever recruited”. 

Ibra is home. Manchester United is back. 

I have been working with capacity building for a long time. I have also worked in many countries over the years. 

You learn a lot from meeting people all around the world and from every day facing new challenges, developing new solutions and addressing new problems that needs to be solved.

Sometimes I feel like The Fixer. A global expert on Customs, borders, security and trade – ready to do my part making the world a better place. I am somebody that can give advise based on long international experience on how to handle movement of people and gods though the world in the most effecient way. 

However, capacity building is not about dropping from the sky in a parachute like a ‘superman’. That doesn’t work when we do capacity building. 

Instead it is about learning as much as possible about the environment you are worklng in and try to transfer relevant experiences and best practices from all around the world, together with local experitise, adjust the models to local circumstances and creating something new based on knowledge. 
I have many colleagues and friends that contributes and do their best to make our profession, our part of the world, better. We know that with globalization people trade more and move more. This is good. 

From history we have learned that when we know each other better and when we trade more the risks of conflicts decreases. We need a more friendly world in the future, that is sure. If I and my colleagues can donour little clntribution to that vision, then I am happy with my life. 

Sweden is one of the largest donors in the world. UN recommends that all developed countries should grant 0.7% of their GDP in aid to the least developed countries. 

Sweden is one of the few countries that currently meet the target. Last year Sweden donated 1.21% of our GDP, the higest number in the world. This has been the case during the past decade.

Sweden supports more than 100 countries around the world on regular basis. It is the Swedish Minstry of Foreign Affairs that develops the strategies and policies for the Swedish aid sector. The operational part of the aid sector is handled by a specific agency, the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA). 

SIDA is one of the leading development agenices in the world. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and SIDA have been two of the largest donors to the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization the last ten years. 

Africa is one of the continents prioritized by Sweden. We have had a specific strategy for the aid to Africa the last 2010-2015. This strategy has now been evaluated and a new strategy is in place.

One of major points int eh work with the new strategy has been to instruct SIDA to work with multiple partners on both political and technical issues. 

Swedish aid is primarily concentrated on capacity building. However in the previous strategy a larger focus was directed towards support for regional organizations, particularly the African Union, AU, and a number of regional economic communities (RECs). The new strategy will be more flexible inbthis respect. 

“We need to have a little more flexibility, so that we take the opportunity when we see an opening” says the spokesperson from MinFor in a comment. Swedens’ regional aid for Africa is approx. 4.2 billion for 2016. 

In addition to the regional aid Sweden also has bilateral development cooperation with 15 individual African countries. The purpose of the new strategy is to further develop the cooperation and increase the support to African countries.

Yesterday it happened again. Terrorists attacking innocent people. Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked by three terrorists opening fire with automatic weapons. After firing into the crowd, they blew themselves up with suicide bombs. 

So far 36 people are dead and more than 150 are injured. The numbers will go up. This is awful. Our condolences and thoughts go to the Turkish people and all victims. It is awful. One of the victims that died was a young Turkish Customs officer. A colleague. He was a hero, who attacked one of the terrorists to protect and save others. He paid the ultimate prize for his bravery. Tonight I will pay him and all other victims a tribute. 

I have many Turkish friends. I go regulary to Turkey and I pass even more often Atatürk International, transfering to different locations. I was at Atatürk two weeks ago. 

They want me to be afraid, they want you to be afraid. They want all of us to be afraid. 

It was one of the fathers of IRA, Michael Collins, who once said; ‘the aim of terrorism is to terrorise’. Meaning everything that scare yur enemy is good. 

Here is the news for you, there are always people that will not get scared, that will only get even more determined to stand up for freedom, democracy, equality and our lifestyle, our way of living in open societies. 

Customs will never stand down. We will continue to work against terrorism to protect the international supply chain, our nations and our people. We will develop new systems, models, concepts –  together with other agencies involved in international movement of people and goods. We will not give up, we will only become stronger.

Now we only think about our friends and colleagues in Turkey. Tomorrow the fight against terror continues.

We can’t and we will not let them win.


Sweden has for a long time been one of the candidates for the United Nations Security Council 2016.

The election was held today in the UN building in New York. 

It required 128 votes to be elected and Sweden received 134 votes in the first round, well over the two thirds majority required. Sweden competed with Netherlands and Italy and won the the first western European place in the security council. 

Sweden was the only country, out of total five new Security Council Members, that was elected in the first round.

Sweden got a long applause in the General Assembly when the result was announced. Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and UN Ambassador Olof Skoog represented Sweden at the meeting.

“I am happy and proud and I want to thank all the countries that voted for us”, said Margot Wallström during a press conference after the vote. “We will now do what we promised to do. We will work with women, peace and security. We promise to be transparent and talk to the country, instead about them”.

This will be the fourth time that Sweden decomes Member of the 15 country strong and very powerful security council. Sweden will be a Member for the next two years. 

Sweden also holds the position of Deputy Secretary General of United Nations, through our superdiplomat Jan Eliasson.