Prezydent USA z wizytą w Szwecji


Premier Szwecji Fredrik Reinfeldt i prezydent Barack Obama będą rozmawiać o szwedzko-amerykańskich stosunkach dwustronnych, politycznych i ekonomicznych zmianach na świecie oraz stosunkach handlowych z uwzględnieniem trwających właśnie negocjacji dotyczących umowy o wolnym handlu pomiędzy UE a USA (ang. TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

W rozmowach poruszone zostaną również kwestie dotyczące polityki klimatycznej i energetycznej oraz inne sprawy dotyczące polityki międzynarodowej.

US President to visit Sweden

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and US President Barack Obama at Nuclear Security Summit in Washington April 2010. Photo: Charles Dharapak/Scanpix

This week US President Barack Obama is visiting Stockholm to meet Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. It will be the first time an incumbent US president has paid a bilateral visit to Sweden. For Sweden, three issues will be the main focus of discussions: the economy and jobs, free trade, and climate and energy.

This autumn, the international financial crisis will have been a persistent issue for five years. The crisis has had a major impact on the global economy, with reduced growth and a protracted recession as the results. The crisis has not yet passed, although forecasts from the US in particular have become slightly more optimistic. However, the euro area continues to face challenges, such as a poorly functioning banking system and a continued need to get public finances in good order.

Swedish economic situation

For Sweden, the situation is somewhat different. As a small, export-dependent country, Sweden has also been affected by the crisis. Growth has slowed and unemployment risks remaining at high levels. But the Swedish economy is nonetheless relatively strong. This is why the Government has been able to invest when other countries have made cuts and introduced austerity measures. In last year’s budget, the Government invested SEK 25 billion in reforms for more jobs, increased growth and higher standards in welfare. In this year’s budget, too, which is due to be presented later in the autumn, there is some scope for continuing to strengthen Sweden and support recovery and jobs.

The Government is tackling the protracted recession with measures that support demand and strengthen the long-term conditions for growth and employment.

Despite the crisis, 200 000 more people have found work since 2006 and exclusion has been reduced in equal measure. However, the labour force has grown more than employment has risen, which has meant that unemployment has risen markedly during the crisis. The Government’s objective is full employment. Society must stick together, the high unemployment rate must be driven down and efforts to combat exclusion must continue.

Young people, people born abroad and people with disabilities are more likely to be outside the labour market. This is why the Government is focusing on these groups in particular, with initiatives including targeted labour market policy measures, education measures and measures to ensure a better transition from school to working life.
Taking responsibility for jobs and stability
Free trade in focus

Trade is the key to creating prosperity, both in Sweden and globally. It is particularly important to remember this in times of economic crisis, when there is a greater risk of countries introducing trade barriers in short-term attempts to protect domestic economic interests.

Both the United States and Sweden are strong advocates of free trade in an international context. Sweden is also clearly working towards this in the EU.

According to the European Commission, the free trade agreements that the EU is currently discussing with countries outside the EU could increase GDP growth and bring about millions of new jobs in the EU. In June this year, the EU began free trade negotiations with the United States. Sweden has worked hard to bring about these negotiations and also has a role to play in concluding them.

Climate and energy issues

Sweden’s emissions have dropped by 20 per cent since 1990, while GDP has risen by 60 per cent during the same period. We have used market-based policy levers, such as carbon dioxide tax and electricity certificate systems. Sweden’s share of renewable energies in relation to final energy use has risen steadily since the beginning of the 1970s, and in 2011 it amounted to 48 per cent, compared with 33 per cent at the beginning of the 1990s.

The Obama administration has announced a number of measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase the share of renewable energy in the United States. Sweden and the US are also working together in the Swedish American Green Alliance (SAGA), which focuses on energy and green technology. This alliance covers measures for sustainable urban development, electric cars and smart electricity grids, among other things.

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