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picture News December, 17 2017
Global cities, trade, and Stockholm Global cities, trade, and Stockholm More and more economic activity, more and more innovation and more and more growth are being concentrated to cities. Urbanization is one of the most powerful economic forces in the world.

The three most distinct traits of successful cities today are talent, trade and technology. Global cities need to have a critical mass of talented people in order to be innovative and in order to offer advanced products and services. Ability to develop talent and openness to talent is key for any city who wants to play in the cities' premier league. Openness to trade is equally important. International trade in the broadest sense of the word creates wealth, prevents conflicts and helps us stay competitive. Technology or digitalization is together with urbanization and globalization a force that totally changes the world right now. A competitive global city needs businesses that push the boundaries of technology, but it also needs a digital infrastructure and an idea about how it will be impacted by digitalization.

We need to continuously strengthen Stockholm's competitiveness. There are a lot of turmoil going on and it affects us for sure, but we cannot always affect it.

Stockholm is the fastest growing capital in Europe. We are punching above our weight in many regards economically. But there are also clouds in the sky, or at least a few distinct sun spots.

We need reforms for a less dysfunctional housing market, more competitive taxation of stock options to incentivize talent to take on careers in fast growing new companies, better infrastructure and a more aggressive plan for internationalization. We are still depending way too much on quite few very large global corporations for international trade.

In a time when protectionism seems to be back in fashion, Stockholm and other global cities have even more reasons to speak up and step up and take a more active role in shaping trade agreements and adding a city dimension to the trade agenda. Tearing down barriers to trade in services, free flow of data and strong investment protection are of uttermost importance if global cities like Stockholm are to succeed also in the future.

The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce is working closely together with Brookings Institution in Washington DC and their and JP Morgan Chase's global cities initiative. As part of that work we recently launched an internationalization strategy for Stockholm and the greater capital region of Sweden. We have the perception in Sweden and Stockholm that we are very international, but what we found in our assessment was that there is a lot of international potential waiting to be unleashed. A small proportion of companies, a few multinational giants set aside, is internationalized. Our strategy is comprehensive and covers talent attraction, foreign investment, infrastructure, trade promotion, tourism among other things. It contains more than forty action points that will strengthen an already strong region. Because we need to constantly remind ourselves that past and current success is not a guarantee for future success.


Forwarded by,

Kristiina Sikk
SCCE Ombudsman


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