Minister for Trade Ewa Björling is hosting the Swedish-Iraqi Business and Investment Conference in Stockholm 8-9 October. Iraq is represented by four ministers, the deputy prime minister, the governor of Baghdad and the chairperson of Basra's provincial council. In addition, some 50 representatives of Iraq's business sector and over 100 Swedish companies will attend.
On Wednesday at 14.15 Swedish time, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will take part in a panel discussion in New York on internet governance. The debate will be webcast live and the event as a whole is jointly organised by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the International Peace Institute (IPI).
Sweden is very much involved in international efforts for freedom of the internet, and the issues are reflected in foreign, development and trade policies. It is fundamental for Sweden that the freedoms and rights that apply offline also apply online.
The annual week of meetings at the United Nations General Assembly begins today. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson were already in New York yesterday for various meetings.
The Government is allocating SEK 38.2 billion to development cooperation in 2013. This is one per cent of estimated GNI, an increase of around SEK 2.4 billion compared with 2012.
Over one billion kronor is to be spent on special initiatives in the poorest countries, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals concerning reduced infant mortality and increased access to water and sanitation, but also to strengthen engagement in democratisation and freedom of expression, and adaptation to climate change.
Gunilla Carlsson visits Somalia
Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson is visiting the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, today. Ms Carlsson will have talks with the new Somali leadership, President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari. Since Ms Carlsson's visit to Somalia in August 2011, the country's reform process has been high on the political agenda of both the Swedish Government and the international community. Ms Carlsson is now making a follow-up visit to Mogadishu for political dialogue and discussions on the possibilities offered by the new political landscape in the country for Sweden and the EU to increase their engagement in Somalia.
Gunilla Carlsson visits Kenya
Today, Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson is in Nairobi, Kenya, for talks with representatives of the Kenyan Government. Items on the agenda include preparations for the general election in March 2013 and Kenya's important role for peace, security and economic development in the region.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, together with European Commissioner Stefan Füle and Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok, today met with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for a discussion on developments in Ukraine and the country's relations with the EU. The three representatives of the EU raised the case of Julia Tymoshenko and emphasised the importance of coming parliamentary elections living up to international standards for free and fair elections. After the meeting, the three EU representatives issued a joint statement.
Efforts to assist the two Swedish journalists imprisoned in Ethiopia last summer and to ensure their release have been extensive on the part of Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, Ambassador Jens Odlander, other sections of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other actors. In a text on his blog and here on the Ministry website, Mr Bildt describes in his own words what was done on the Swedish side.
On 6 September, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt hosted a dinner for a US Congress delegation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The delegation of four senators and a member of the House of Representatives is visiting Sweden on 4-7 September.
Free trade is the foundation of Swedish trade policy and contributes to increased economic growth, more jobs and increased prosperity.
"The world needs more openness and free trade, not less. The best way of opening up trade globally is via multilateral agreements. In this way we can ensure a fair, stable and predictable international trade system," says Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, who will speak at World Trade Day held in Stockholm today.