Tal av statsminister Stefan Löfven vid Hannovermässans öppnande (på engelska)


Hannover den 31 mars 2019
Det talade ordet gäller.

Madam Chancellor, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I must say this: I know that the robot we just saw has welding abilities. I used to work as a welder myself. No wonder I had to change jobs!

I would like to thank the organisors of the Hannover Messe for appointing Sweden as partner country, and for your warm welcome here today. Vielen herzlichen Dank!

I would also like to thank all of the officials who I know have worked very hard to make this Fair what it is. This year – and for decades. You create something that is the pride of Germany, and a meeting place for Europe and the world. I hope you are proud of your work. You should be!

In an interview a few years before his death, the German author Günter Grass spoke of how much he enjoyed walking in nature. He said: “I’m always astonished by a forest. It makes me realise that the fantasy of nature is much larger than my own fantasy. I still have things to learn.”

It reminds me of this trade fair. Here, we encounter a fantastic landscape of human ideas. It shows us that when we work together, our ideas are always so much greater than what a single individual can imagine.  And it makes us see just how much we still have to learn.

And there is a lot to inspire us in the German industrial sector.

Of course, we are all aware of Industry 4.0, which was presented right here at this trade fair in 2011. Automation, cyber-physical systems and cognitive computing were once a possibility – that have now become standard – for industrial companies that want to maintain a leading global position.

I am impressed by your Digital Strategy 2025. The expansion of optical fibre. The strengthening of data security. The new centres of excellence that assist small and medium-sized businesses in their digitisation processes. The digital hubs across Germany – that connect start-ups with established companies and research institutes. The strong desire to digitally transform both industry – and the whole of society – zusammen.

And it will be fantastic to see the realisation of your Artificial Intelligence strategy. I know that you will do both Germany and the world a favour, if “AI made in Germany” becomes known as both a mark of quality and a guarantee of ethics, sustainability and public benefit.

We are delighted to be part of this work, through our updated Innovation Partnership which the Chancellor and I will sign tomorrow, where AI and the development of sustainable batteries have been added as new areas of cooperation.

To summarise by paraphrasing Grass: I’m always astonished by German industry. We still have so many things to learn!

And although Germany has a lot to teach us, of course we still have a lot to learn from each other: the companies from Sweden, Germany and all the 75 nations represented at this Fair.Companies that were perhaps established in one country, but now increasingly belong to the world.

And we have major tasks to accomplish together!

We know that it is our inescapable duty to address the climate threat. And at the same time there is the opportunity to utilise the potential of climate adaptation, which can not only create profitable businesses, but also cleaner air, a healthier environment and confidence in the future for ourselves and our children.

We know that gender equality is as economically smart as it is morally right. And that no economy will be able to be a real world leader
if half of all the geniuses, half of all the potential innovators and entrepreneurs, are held back for no other reason than their gender.

We know how the globalisation of our economies can be of enormous benefit to our citizens, when global competition is not based on who has the lowest wages, but on the highest level of knowledge, and our workers are not forced to become the cheapest, but are able to develop to become the best.

And I know that you are very keen to take on these tasks, to win new business and develop together with others.  

After all, that’s why we’re here! Because we know we have so much to learn.

And we are already seeing how we are taking on these tasks together,
in Swedish, German and global cooperation projects.

When Scania and Siemens cooperate to create the world’s first electric road for lorries in Sandviken in the heart of Sweden, and will shortly open three new electric roads here in Germany.

When Ericsson connects its campus at RWTH Aachen University, with Corda Campus in Belgium, and, together with Fraunhofer IPT,  allows companies to test their innovations in 5G networks, several years before 5G is standard in Europe.

When Northvolt cooperates with BMW Group and Umicore, so that we can continue to enjoy a motoring holiday on the Autobahn in the future – but with zero emissions and recyclable batteries!

What you are doing is creating a monetary benefit here and now. But the biggest benefit of all, is the society you are building for all of us – and for those who have not yet been born.

And I know that many of us are impatient to get started on new projects!

From Sweden alone, there are 160 companies, organisations and actors in society who are eager to create new cooperation projects, to meet each other – and meet the future.

And, finally, I would like to say this: There is really only one thing we know for certain about the future: it will be different from today. And we know that it is not change that is dangerous – but standing still. And the faster our economies develop, the closer the cooperation between employers, workers and societies must become – to keep up with developments, and be first.

It is this close cooperation and dialogue that forms the basis of the Swedish model, and Swedish prosperity. It is this cooperation that has made Swedish industry so innovative and dynamic, which we are here to show you during the coming days. And it is this cooperation that I have devoted my entire working life to strengthening.

I therefore look forward to exploring this fantastic landscape of human ideas, to talking to you and creating new cooperation projects. It is time to be amazed, and to understand how much there is still to learn!