The Importance of a Positive Global Appeal
Annika Rembe, the first female Consul General of Sweden in New York, dishes on the significance of promoting Sweden internationally and her plans to maintain and strengthen the country’s position abroad.
With 20 years’ of experience with promoting Sweden abroad, Annika Rembe—former Director-General of the Swedish Institute—was appointed to succeed Leif Pagrotsky as the new Consul General of Sweden in New York starting this month. In light of her exciting new role and as a key partner and member of Team Sweden, SACCNY took the opportunity to talk to Rembe about the importance of promoting Sweden abroad, her expectations and upcoming plans.
How is promoting Sweden abroad important to you and the country?
As an internationally oriented country, Sweden is open to trade, collaboration, and new ideas. Personally, I see the country has much to offer—potential in the fields of sustainability and innovation, prime position to attract more students, research collaboration, entrepreneurial exchange, and support larger corporations.
For a small country representing a mere 0.14 percent of the world’s population, this promotion work is absolutely essential. In facing the fierce competition between countries, the sheer volume of information out there, and the challenge of reaching younger audiences, I believe it is all the more important to share Sweden’s experiences and perspectives.
Based on your experience, how is Sweden perceived in the United States?
A study conducted by the Swedish Institute in 2017 showed that more than half of U.S. respondents have a ”very positive” image of Sweden—relating to culture, education and research, innovation plus sustainable development and human rights. I am convinced that Sweden and the northeastern U.S. have many shared challenges and opportunities when it comes to developing sustainable solutions and meeting the Agenda 2030 goals and the Paris Agreement.
What are your collaboration plans with other members of Team Sweden?
Since Sweden is a small country, we are all crucial partners in this shared mission of strengthening and advancing Sweden’s position in the U.S. This involves sharing a platform for knowledge, analyses, visions, goals, and more. I am looking forward to working with SACCNY and Team Sweden, my first call to action is to understand each other’s roles so that we do not overlap or leave any gaps.
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