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October 31st, 2014 in SACC NEWS
Reflections from the PresidentIt’s late October and already the colors in Washington have begun to shift into Fall. Congress is out of town, running their campaigns for the midterm elections on November 4. The voters will decide on all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, one third of the Senate, 36 gubernatorial positions. In addition, they will vote on judges, sheriffs, city councils, state constitutional amendments, school boards, and much more – democracy at work.
Wells Fargo estimates that the US economy will grow an average of three percent over the next two years, far better prospects than for Europe. The Swedish brand remains strong in the United States, so there are plenty of opportunities for Swedish companies to strengthen their foothold in the US economy.
Newly Nominated US Ambassador to SwedenA new ambassador has been nominated to replace the current ambassador, Mark Brzezinski. The nominee, Azita Raji, is a former investment banker.
Azita Raji was born in Tehran and grew up in Iran and Western Europe. After graduating from high school in Lausanne, Switzerland, she earned her B.A. in Architecture and French from Barnard College followed by an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School. In her professional career, she has held a number of prestigious positions, including Member of the Bretton Woods Committee and Commissioner of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Her nomination has been submitted to the U.S. Senate for its consideration. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms. Raji would become the first female ambassador from the United States to Sweden as well as the first Iranian-born American to be appointed as a U.S. Ambassador.
Read more here.
Midterm ElectionsThe midterm elections occur two years into the term of the president. Members of the US Senate, all members of the House of Representatives, and many state and local positions will be voted on. Often overlooked in their significance, midterm elections are critical to maintaining a Congress that is representative of the US voter’s opinions. They test the solidity of a political party’s support following the first half of a president’s term in office.
These elections will most likely not have an effect on US-Sweden trade relations. The potential shift in who holds the majority in Congress, however, could affect the development of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Should the Republicans win six more seats in the Senate, they will hold a complete majority in Congress. If this is the case, it may be more difficult for President Obama to finalize an agreement on TTIP. His current lack of trade promotion authority would allow Congress to edit the final agreement, and this could lead to TTIP’s undoing. In order for TTIP or any future multilateral agreements to succeed, the president must have the support of Congress and its promise to not edit TTIP.
Tacton Named Super CompanySACC-DC member Tacton has been awarded the title of “Swedish Super Company” by the Swedish news magazine Veckans Affärer and Bisnode. This title is given exclusively to companies that have exhibited both great economic performance and financial quality. Less than one percent of Swedish companies with a turnover greater than ten MSEK are awarded this title.
Tacton is a world leader in advanced sales and product configuration. It was founded in 1987 by a number of engineers and programmers from the Swedish Institute of Computer Technology. Today, it has a total of 130 employees, and its headquarters is located in Stockholm.
We congratulate Tacton on its new title, and we wish them the best of luck in the future!
Read more about it here.
Eliason Merit Award to Joel KinnamanSACC-LA is happy to announce that Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman is this year’s winner of the prestigious Eliason Merit Award. He receives the award for his ability to successfully raise Sweden´s profile within the arts and entertainment industry, which in turn contributes to stronger Swedish-American relations. The event will take place on November 7th in Santa Monica during the American Film Market.
The Eliason Merit Award is an exclusive annual event hosted by SACC-LA. The award was named in honor of the late Sven A. Eliason, who, through his great contributions to Swedish-American causes, exemplified the standards for this award. This is one of SACC-LA´s most prestigious events of the year, attracting hundreds of by-invitation-only, and high-profile guests to enjoy a fabulous cocktail reception, brilliant entertainment, and an after party.
Read more on SACC-LA’s website.
SACC Colorado Hosted Event with FriendsOn Saturday, October 11, SACC-Colorado hosted an event for Friends, a global, anti-bullying, non-profit organization based in Stockholm. Founded in 1997, it has worked to provide pre-schools, schools, and sports clubs with resources to combat bullying in a variety of venues, including cyber and workplace bullying. Friends came to determine if Colorado would be a possible place to break ground on a US-based regional office. Based on the success of the event, they decided that they would start up in Denver. Friends also announced at this event that Gabriel Landeskog, captain of the Colorado Avalanche, will serve as the group’s US ambassador. In addition to leadership presentations from Landeskog and Greg Sherman, the Avalanche’s Assistant General Manager, attendees also got to experience an Avalanche game. Overall the event was a great success.
For more information about Friends, please visit this link.
Pernilla Råvik Johnson, Gabriel Landeskog & Marie Forsberg-Mare
On The Radar
The Swedish Brand in the World of SportsThere is a very high representation of Swedes in the NHL with fifty-one players currently active. No other country, outside North America, has more NHL players.
In addition to established, experienced Swedish players, young Swedish rookies have quickly become NHL stars who play a significant role on their teams. During the month of October, the rookies have made a huge impact on the league. On the rookie top list over points made, Andre Burakovsky is number three, Filip Forsberg is number four, and William Karlsson is number nine. Not only do these athletes play a valuable role on their respective teams, but they also serve as great ambassadors for Sweden.
So what will happen this season?
In the west, the favorites to win in the playoffs are the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings. In the east, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are held as the favorites. Who will win it all? SACC-USA believes that the Blackhawks will ultimately claim victory and the Stanley Cup in 2015.
Read more here.
What’s happening in November
Need a Swede?
SACC-USA partners with one of Sweden’s most prestigious schools, Chalmers University of Technology. The partnership provides access to highly competitive engineering students who are eager to come to the U.S.
|Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce | eCurrents 2014|