The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco/Silicon Valley was founded in 1948 so we are celebrating our 70-year-anniversary this year. However, the history of trade and business relations between Sweden and the United States dates much further back than that.
Sweden was, in fact, the first neutral country in the world to recognize the United States. The reason – a little surprising – was that the Swedish King, Gustavus III was a huge fan of Benjamin Franklin, and he wanted Sweden to be remembered as the first Power in Europe to voluntarily offer its friendship. Thus, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the nations was signed in 1783. Diplomatic relations were established in 1818 and have remained unbroken since. Earlier this year, the former Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven met President Trump to celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations and to further deepen and strengthen the relationship between the countries.
Today, Sweden is one of the largest investors per capita in the United States. The economic interactions between Swedish businesses and industry create more than 360,000 jobs in the United States. In California, there are over a hundred Swedish-affiliated companies within all areas of business, from fashion to furniture, from vehicles to vodka, and from medicine to mobile phones. We are proud to have many of these companies in our network and we shall continue our strive to create business opportunities and strengthen the Swedish-American community for many years to come.
So, instead of looking back, let’s celebrate the years that lie ahead. Happy Tomorrow!
Market Street, 1948, when The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce was founded.