• Sweden edition
 
Thanksgiving in Sweden
'I'm thankful to be US ambassador to Sweden'
US Ambassador Mark Brzezinski greets Barack Obama during the US president's visit to Stockholm. File photo: AP

'I'm thankful to be US ambassador to Sweden'

Published: 28 Nov 2013 07:51 GMT+01:00

Every November in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with friends and family, enjoying good food and to give thanks for all that is important in our lives. This November, as I mark my two-year anniversary as the US Ambassador to Sweden, I am particularly thankful for the special relationship between the United States and Sweden. Indeed, as President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt put it in their joint statement in September: “Sweden and the United States are very special friends.” 
 
During the past two years, I have traveled around the country and have met with Swedes from all regions of the country and from all walks of life. What I’ve found is a partnership anchored not only in policy, but in people. Whether it’s addressing climate change, advancing human rights and democracy, or promoting greater prosperity, I am thankful for the work our governments and people do to meet global challenges and promote human dignity.
 
One critical area is the environment. During President Obama’s visit to Stockholm earlier this year, he made one of his highest priorities a visit to KTH in Stockholm to see examples of groundbreaking, clean-energy innovations. His visit also underscored our collaboration on clean technology and combatting climate change. Through the Swedish American Green Alliance (SAGA), a joint initiative between the US and Sweden, we have launched a number of exchange programmes for students, organized conferences and workshops, and built links between American and Swedish companies and universities. 
 
Similarly, in the Arctic, we are working together to safeguard this delicate region. This past May, Sweden concluded its highly successful chairmanship of the Arctic Council - a success we hope to emulate when the US becomes chair in 2015. Last month, I traveled to the Abisko Scientific Research Station, where 110 years of data demonstrate the effects of a warming climate on the Arctic. At the station, I attended a workshop with Fulbright scholars to discuss climate change, governance, and security in the Arctic. US Secretary of State John Kerry said it best earlier this year at the Arctic Council Ministerial in Kiruna: “There is nothing that should unite us quite like our concern for both the promise and the challenges of the northern-most reaches of the earth.” 
 
Promoting human rights and democracy is another shared priority. As former US Secretary of State Clinton noted during her June 2012 visit to Stockholm, “Sweden brings its diplomatic heft and its development expertise to nearly every corner of the globe.” In both Afghanistan and Kosovo, Sweden has worked alongside the United States and our Nato allies and partners to support stability and prosperity. We also cooperate closely on development assistance. Just last week, Dr. Raj Shah, the head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), visited Sweden to sign two partnerships: one with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) for 2.6 billion kronor ($397 million) over five years for collaborative development projects and another with both Sisa and Volvo Group to provide vocational training in Sub-Saharan Africa.
 
Around the world, Sweden and the United States are following the legacy of the heroic Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews during World War II by refusing to be indifferent and advancing the rights of women, gays and lesbians, and others who are persecuted or oppressed. During his recent visit, President Obama also highlighted Wallenberg’s legacy at a commemoration ceremony in Stockholm’s Great Synagogue.
 
Our cooperation in safeguarding the climate and promoting democracy and human rights is mirrored by our common commitment to advancing economic prosperity. Globally, with half the world living on less than 16 kronor a day, we aim to expand economic opportunity not only through development programmes, but also through increased access to markets and freer and fairer trade. 
 
At the same time, our solid commercial relationship is expanding economic opportunity and creating jobs in Sweden and the United States. Our annual bilateral trade in goods and services is valued at over 162 billion kronor. Sweden is the 13th largest investor in the US and the 273 billion kronor of cumulative Swedish investment has created nearly 200,000 jobs in the United States. The US is also one of the largest investors in Sweden, responsible for an estimated 75,000 jobs. These numbers are good, but they can get better. That’s one reason why the United States and Sweden are two of the strongest advocates for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty - the proposed free-trade agreement between the United States and European Union. The US embassy has also brought together many leading US and Swedish business representatives. We have supported numerous trade delegations over the past two years from Alabama, Virginia, California, and Minnesota as well as from several US cities.  
 
In closing, on this Thanksgiving Day in the US, I’d like to echo the words of President Obama: “I want to thank Sweden and the Swedish people for being such strong partners in pursuit of these values that we share.”
 
I’m thankful for the opportunity to advance our strong relationship to new levels over the past two years and look forward to continuing our hard work in deepening and expanding our relationship during the rest of my tenure as ambassador here in Sweden. 
 
Mark Brzezinski
US Ambassador to Sweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man shot dead in Stockholm 'execution'
Police examine the shattered window of the Audi car after a man was shot dead in Sollentuna on November 25th 2014. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer /TT

Man shot dead in Stockholm 'execution'

A 32-year-old man has been shot dead in his car in Stockholm, with witnesses describing the attack as a brutal killing. READ  

Sweden's Spotify turns up volume as losses fall
Spotify was created in 2008 in Sweden. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Sweden's Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, has announced that its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion. READ  

Will 'hated' dating coach reach Sweden?
Julian Blanc in an image from his Facebook site. Photo: TT

Will 'hated' dating coach reach Sweden?

A viral campaign to stop controversial US dating coach visiting Sweden appeared to have been successful on Tuesday, when scheduled tour dates disappeared from Julian Blanc's website. READ  

Swedish Honeymoon Killing
Swedish honeymoon murder verdict delayed
Shrien Dewani outside the court in South Africa. Photo: TT

Swedish honeymoon murder verdict delayed

British businessman Shrien Dewani will have to wait two weeks to see whether a South African judge throws out charges that he organised the murder of his Swedish bride on their honeymoon. READ  

Housing crisis limiting Sweden's growth
A housing development in Malmö. Photo: Flikr/Anders Bengtsson

Housing crisis limiting Sweden's growth

Sweden's economy won't expand as quickly as previously expected, says the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which has lowered its growth forecast for the country. READ  

'Swedish' street dog becomes global celebrity
Arthur arriving back in Sweden last week. Photo: TT

'Swedish' street dog becomes global celebrity

UPDATED: Tales of a stray dog who latched on to a team of Swedish athletes in Ecuador have been lapped up by international media this week. The Local has learned that a new charity is being launched in the animal's honour. READ  

Sweden reveals 2015 Eurovision hopefuls
Two of the hopefuls. Photo: TT

Sweden reveals 2015 Eurovision hopefuls

The full line-up of contestants hoping to compete for Sweden in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna has been announced. READ  

Fitness band is Sweden's hottest gift for 2014
Go on, you know you want one. The fitness armband has been awarded the 2014 Christmas Gift of the Year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT

Fitness band is Sweden's hottest gift for 2014

The must-have gift Swedes want to find to find under their Christmas trees in 2014 is a fitness armband, according to a Swedish retail research group's annual 'Christmas Gift of the Year' prediction. READ  

Presented by Stockholm International School
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Stockholm International School director Marta Krajnovic. Photo: SIS

SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning

International Education Week drew to a close last week and, the Stockholm International School (SIS) held an event looking at study abroad, multilingual education, and what really makes a school “good”. READ  

Volvo prepares for 3.7b kronor fine from EU
A Volvo truck. Photo: TT

Volvo prepares for 3.7b kronor fine from EU

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, is setting aside 3.7 billion kronor ($497 million, €400 million) to cover a potentially huge fine from the European Union for price rigging. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
'Racist' Black Pete party scrapped in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's 2015 Eurovision hopefuls
Gallery
Property of the week: Rosengården
Imagebank Sweden
Society
Decorating your home for Swedish Christmas
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Christmas gifts through the years
Blog updates

25 November

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: IT’S STILL TIME TO ACT (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"In 2013, a World Health Organisation report found that 35% of all women in the world..." READ »

 

24 November

Seeing into the Future of Business: Interview with Antonia Ax:son Johnson (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"Nobody can change the world more than businesses can. This is Antonia Ax:son Johnson’s mantra and..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Lifestyle
'I'm spreading Japan's 'cute' culture in Sweden'
National
Ebola: Sweden's leading expert speaks
National
Why this Swedish rabbi is facing death threats
National
Fears up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish mulled wine
Gallery
People-watching: November 22nd - 23rd
Society
What's on in Sweden: November 20th to 27th
National
How to boost your career in Skåne, Sweden's south
Lifestyle
How an Umeå museum is rewriting Swedish history
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Lifestyle
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
National
Bones show off Sweden's history
National
What new word are Swedes voting on?
National
Why African Swedes are angry about Santa's helper
National
Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Gallery
Selfies, solidarity and Hillary Clinton: Stefan Löfven on tour
Gallery
People-watching: November 19th
Society
Why are international professionals leaving Sweden?
Business & Money
Meet the Swedes who made suits for The Hunger Games
Technology
'I'm among the first Swedes with a microchip'
National
What is Sweden doing about bird flu?
Gallery
Property of the week: Eriksberg
National
Vecka45: Sweden's most innovative week
Gallery
In Pictures: The clubs and loves of Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson
Society
What's On in Sweden: November 13th to 20th
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
National
Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Lifestyle
Make your own Swedish pea soup
Politics
"Totally unacceptable": Defence Minister on Stockholm submarine
Society
The A-Ö guide to making life in Sweden easier
National
How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
National
Seen the new Ace of Base yet?
National
Meet the Irish woman thundering into Swedish rock
Gallery
In Pictures: Ace of Base through the years
Society
Ten things you should never say to a Swede
Gallery
People-watching: November 12th
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
Opinion: 'We have to talk about Sweden's Isis fighters'
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

769
jobs available
Swedish Down Town
Consulting & Productions

We are an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish authorities, Swedish language practice, and general communications.
Call 0731 004 781 or visit:
swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop, we can help.
Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
aa-europe.org/sweden
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply