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Wallenbergs look to strengthen Norway ties

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18:22 CEST+02:00
The powerful Wallenberg family, which has major holdings in Swedish companies including Saab, Scania, Ericsson and SEB, wants to strengthen cooperation between Sweden and neighbouring Norway.

Marcus Wallenberg plans to visit northern Norway in June as part of a Swedish delegation including Industry Minister Maud Olofsson and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

Erik Belfrage, an advisor to the Wallenbergs, said that the historical barriers to cooperation between the countries were less important than before.

"We have a feeling that there is an interest in Norway in coming closer to Sweden - industrially, politically and in other ways. Perhaps it's down to globalization, and with the hundred-year anniversary of the break-up of the union [between Sweden and Norway], that chapter is now behind us," he said.

Belfrage said that June's delegation would contain representatives from the public sector, universities and companies, as well as ministers and Marcus Wallenberg.

"The Wallenberg family has been involved in building up a chunk of Norwegian industry. Norsk Hydro [a Norwegian oil, energy and aluminium company], was built on a fair amount of Wallenberg capital," he said.

The Norwegian government has chosen to direct Swedish interest to northern Norway, said Belfrage, adding that this was not a bad thing.

"There's plenty of interest there, such as in the biotech area and the space sector," he said.

Oil and gas exploitation in the region will also be a focus of the visit.

TT's Per Vallgårda/The Local

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