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Chilean State Visit ends
On the afternoon of 12 May, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet left Sweden following a three-day State Visit. The President was in Sweden at the invitation of HM the King. This was the first State Visit by a Chilean president to Sweden. Several of the Government ministers took part in the programme. The purpose of the visit was to broaden and deepen bilateral relations between Chile and Sweden.
Swedish companies have long had a strong presence in Chile. Bilateral trade has increased over the past 15 years. Cooperation exists in various areas, such as mining, forestry, environment and CSR. Further steps to enhance cooperation were taken during the State Visit. Chile and Sweden have a common view on many foreign policy issues, not least with regard to the rights of smaller countries, UN cooperation, gender equality, marine issues and free trade. Several global challenges were discussed. Representatives of both countries also discussed issues concerning cooperation for social and gender equality.
The State Visit began on Tuesday with the traditional welcoming ceremony at the Inner Courtyard of the Royal Palace. The King and Queen, many members of the Government and other representatives of the Swedish public sector were present to welcome the President. This was followed by a lunch at the Royal Palace which was also attended by Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
Talks on increased trade and investment
In the afternoon, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven received the President for talks at Rosenbad. Topics discussed by the President and the Prime Minister included the conditions for increased trade and investment. Within this framework, memorandums of understanding were signed on sustainable mining, forestry, urban development and CSR. Political, economic and cultural cooperation was another area in which memorandums of understanding were signed on welfare and holiday agreements. Issues concerning multilateral cooperation in gender equality, human rights and peacebuilding were also addressed. Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg, Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér and Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson also took part in the talks.
Following a visit to Olof Palme's grave at Adolf Fredrik's Cemetery, President Bachelet travelled to Fryshuset where she and the King and Queen were met by the managing director of Fryshuset, Johan Oljeqvist. This part of the visit was also attended by Anja Frey, head of Fryshuset in Stockholm, and Camila Salazar Atìas, responsible for social projects, as well as Stockholm City Commissioner Emilia Bjuggren.
The day concluded with a state banquet at the Royal Palace.
Wednesday's programme included a Swedish-Chilean Business Forum, a gender equality seminar, lunch at Stockholm City Hall and a meeting with Speaker of the Riksdag Urban Ahlin. President Bachelet delivered a speech in the Riksdag and took part in a ceremony at which a bust of Swedish diplomat Harald Edelstam was unveiled. During the afternoon, the President met part of the Chilean diaspora in Sweden. Afterwards, she took part in a seminar on social dialogue and the Global Deal, together with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Research and innovative companies in Gothenburg
On Thursday morning, the King and Queen and President Bachelet left for Gothenburg, where they were welcomed by the County Governor of Västra Götaland County Lars Bäckström and President of the Gothenburg City Council Lena Malm. Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson was also present. The first programme point was a visit to Astra Zeneca, where the President and the King and Queen learned about the work done there on research, development and cooperation with smaller, innovative companies. This was followed by visits to Volvo Torslanda and Lindholmen Science Park. The day concluded with lunch at the County Governor's residence.
In the afternoon, the King and Queen bid farewell to President Bachelet and the Chilean delegation at Landvetter Airport.