Swedish investments in Wales
Last week I joined the Secretary of State for Wales David Jones on a tour to the southern and northern part of Wales. It was a great trip that included many different stops and meetings with many interesting people. Some of the highlights included a visit to Swansea University where we also had the opportunity to see the new Bay Campus. It was most inspiring to learn more about all the exciting research that goes on at Swansea University. The new Bay Campus will most certainly open up even more possibilities for Swedish and Welsh research to connect and cooperate in many important areas.
Several Swedish companies look to Wales for mutual business opportunities and I was pleased to experience first-hand the good work that Stena Line does in connecting people on both sides of the Irish Sea. Stena Line is one of world’s largest ferry companies with a strong innovative culture. During our visit to Holyhead we had a chance to visit one of the impressive Stena ships.
Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Science and Technology, hosted a lovely dinner in Cardiff with representatives from different areas of Welsh society. There was a lot of interest in UK – Swedish trade relations and I was pleased to inform that Swedish investments in the UK create 100,000 jobs and that Swedish companies based in Wales create around five thousand jobs.
The many connections between Sweden and Wales are very clear and in my conversations with the Secretary of State for Wales we talked about strengthening collaborations in sectors such as science, innovation and renewable energy, but also in the food sector.
The final stop on our tour around northern Wales was at the family company Halen Môn that makes and harvest sea salt. The company product Anglesey Sea Salt has been given Protected Designation of Origin status by the EU which means that the brand is protected just like Champagne and Parma Ham.
After returning back to London on Friday evening I had some Welsh Wagyu beef with excellent Anglesey smoked sea salt. Being a food lover this was the perfect way to end the week. I am very grateful to the Welsh Office for making this trip possible and look forward to our future collaboration.