On top of the world
According to the “Legatum Prosperity Index” Sweden is now ranked as the fifth most prosperous country in the world. The index is based on a number of factors, including economic stability, strong entrepreneurial climate, well-governed socities and the trust that people have for one another. Sweden moved up from last years’s sixth place.
This, together with the fact that we have also been ranked as the most innovative country in the world, and last week’s news in the Financial Times that our Finance Minister, Anders Borg, had been voted as the best European Finance Minister, is happy news indeed for someone like me representing Sweden in a foreign country. Of course, many of these indexes are based on subjective judgements and are not always one hundred percent scientific, but still it points to the fact that we are doing something right.
Positive assessment of Sweden was also something I could note at a seminar that the Embassy yesterday arranged together with Kommunivest, the Swedish Local Government Debt Office. The whole-day seminar with speakers from both Sweden and Japan focused on how local governments are organized in Sweden and how this can be used as a reference in the ongoing discussions in Japan on local governance. The Deputy Governor of the Swedish Central Bank, Mr. Lars Nyberg, also added a useful presentation of the state of the Swedish economy. There was a high level of interest from the packed audience, clearly expressed in difficult and pointed questions and comments. Most of the participants came from various local governments in Japan, but also from financial institutions and academia.