Swedish Embassy Minister of Trade and Economic Affairs in Minneapolis
Claes Hammar to discuss clean energy technology and the green economy
August 25, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Claes Hammar, the Swedish Embassy’s Minister for Trade and Economic Affairs, will be in Minneapolis August 27 and 28 at the invitation of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota. The Minister’s visit will offer local leaders insight into how Sweden’s world-leading clean-energy technologies present opportunities for economic growth in Minnesota. Sweden is a known leader in many of these fields and green business collaborations are already occurring between Swedish and Minneapolis companies.
Hammar’s visit is especially important for businesses, entrepreneurs, and policy makers. As current President of the European Union (July 1 – December 31, 2009), Sweden has a unique opportunity to place its mark on business, economic, and environmental policies and priorities within the European Union, as well as in relations with the United States.
The Minister’s visit creates an opportunity to further develop existing relationships, create new paths for trade, develop technology collaborations, build supply chain and market opportunities, and encourage Swedish companies seeking North American headquarters to locate in Minneapolis.
"Minneapolis is emerging as a national center for green businesses, said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Hundreds of local businesses are creating new processes and products that are not just great business ideas, but also reduce our impact on the environment. In the process, we are creating a whole new economy and new jobs."
Minneapolis green businesses range from Restore, an environmental cleaning products company, to Wood from the Hood, a business that reclaims and repurposes trees culled from city neighborhoods. Minneapolis is home to many renewable energy innovators in solar, anaerobic digestion and wind power including TenKSolar, R3 Verdant Technologies and Horizon Wind.
Swedish paper company Whitelines recently established a North American headquarters and distribution center in Minneapolis. The company is committed to producing paper with very little environmental impact, using a process that has no carbon dioxide emissions.
"Consumers, businesses, and governments are becoming more educated on the environmental impact of products," said North American Director of Business Development, Michael Walters. "North American consumers, businesses and governments play a huge role in the health and sustainability of our planet. As a nation, we have arguably the largest potential to impact our environment on a global level. "Whitelines is a vehicle, both in product and mindset that is one choice in the right direction. I’m very excited that Whitelines is now available in North America."
Whitelines is providing the official stationery for the Swedish Presidency of the European Union.
Longstanding connections of heritage between Minneapolis and Sweden make the city a comfortable point of entry for Swedish businesses seeking a North American presence. Connections made by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota have lead to a U.S. location in Minnesota for Swedish bio-energy consulting group, ÄFAB. ÄFAB USA is working in Minnesota as a participant in the International Renewable Energy Technology Institute based at the Minnesota State University, Mankato.
"I’m very excited about the potential for Swedish renewable energy technology to stimulate our economy, and create good-paying clean-tech jobs here in Minnesota," said ÄFAB USA president Dave McNertney.
The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce is the second largest European-American Chamber of Commerce in America. SACC-MN works with its membership, locally and nationally, large and small companies, to ensure that their businesses are fully utilizing all that this synergistic international relationship has to offer.
Two events with Claes Hammar, open to the public, are scheduled:
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Minnesota and Sweden: Partners in Developing and Transferring Green Technologies
A panel of business, entrepreneurial, and trade leaders will join Claes Hammar to discuss how common needs and common advantages have and will play out in the future for Minnesota businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers. The panel includes:
R.T. Rybak, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis
Tony Lorusso, Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office, St. Paul
Anders Rydaker, President/CEO, Evergreen Energy, LLA and President, District Energy, St. Paul
Per Carlsson, Co-Founder of the Scandinavian Cleantech Export Association and President/CEO of Abionova AB, Stenkullen, Sweden
Friday, August 28, 2009
Trade and Policy: The Framework for Making Business Possible
Claes Hammar will join a panel of leaders from Minnesota public/private institutions to discuss public policy tools, strategies, and pitfalls capable of opening and closing doors globally for entrepreneurs, researchers, and businesses. The panel includes:
Rep. Laura Brod, Assistant Minority Leader, Minnesota State House of Representatives
Sen. Steve Kelley, former Minnesota State Senator
Rep. Jeremy Kalin, Member, Minnesota House of Representatives and Co-Chair of Minnesota Green Jobs Task Force
Dale Wahlstrom, Executive Director, BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota
For more information, see http://eupresidency.eventbrite.com.
Published Aug. 27, 2009