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The Diplomatic Dispatch

The British Ambassador to Sweden blogs on The Local

Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

EU and US – partners for prosperity

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

As Carl Bildt underlined in the Riksdag today, the US is Europe’s main international partner, on the security and prosperity agendas.

So the UK government welcomes, as Sweden does, President Obama’s call in his State of the Union Speech last night for what he called “a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” with the EU. Britain has been arguing hard for this, including in our role as G8 presidency.

David Cameron said today:

“It’s great that President Obama has set out his determination to agree a trade deal between the EU and the United States. We discussed this issue on Monday and we are both committed to launching negotiations this year. A deal will create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic and make our countries more prosperous. Breaking down the remaining trade barriers and securing a comprehensive deal will require hard work and bold decisions on both sides. But I am determined to use my chairmanship of the G8 to help achieve this and to help European and American businesses succeed in the global race.”

Our Trade Minister, Lord Green added that this was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to liberalise trade fully between the world’s two largest trading blocs. An agreement could boost the European economy by more than £50bn – the biggest prize from any trade deal currently under way.”

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World Water Week

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Like many Stockholm residents, I am fortunate to live by the water.  I never tire of looking at it and, in the last few days, inspired by my intrepid mother-in-law’s visit, I’ve even been swimming in it!

In an abstract way I understand how important water is for all of us and for the planet. But I confess my understanding is vague. I may know more in a few days, as World Water Week Conference will be held in Stockholm from 26 – 31 August.

Water has direct relevance to the UK’s objectives of promoting Prosperity and Security. Along with food, energy and climate it’s one of what William Hague calls the four pillars of global prosperity and security. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is sending an expert delegation to Stockholm to take part in the week’s discussions.

The conference will consider the security implications climate change impacts have on water availability and the need for a global response to address this. This has personal resonance for me, as in my last but one job I organised the first ever UN Security Council debate on the conflict and security risks of climate change. World Water Week will take this debate forward, sharing knowledge on food and water security – knowledge which will inform policy on climate and resource insecurity and which will feed into our political work to reach a global agreement on climate change.

A city defined by its water in a country renowned for ambition in tackling the challenges of climate and security is surely the perfect host for a conference such as this.

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