Nice-delegation på Sverigebesök (28 april 2016) [fr]
"I am very happy to welcome you all at the residence to this party co-organized with the City of Nice and to give you the opportunity to meet the high level delegation of Nice and Cote-d’Azur, led by M. Rudy Salle, Member of Parliament for Alpes Maritimes and deputy mayor of Nice in charge of tourism and international relations, M. Christian Tordo, deputy mayor for economic development and city planning, with also representatives of Team Côte d’Azur and the office of tourism of the city as well as a number of companies from Nice.
The visit of the delegation to Sweden is getting near its end and it has been a particularly active one, since they found the time to go to Dalarna, Västeros and of course, Stockholm, in particular Kista and Hammarby, meeting actors of economy and tourism and also authorities of Stockholm municipality.
So this visit is an important contribution to the bilateral relationship between Sweden and France. You won’t be surprised if, as the French ambassador, I tell you that this relationship is exceptionally good at the moment. But it happens to be the case.
On the political level with, in the last eighteen months, the State visit of the King and Queen of Sweden to France and the visit of the French Prime minister to Sweden. Economically, with a regular increase in trade and investments. In fighting terrorism and radicalization , the solidarity of Sweden after the double attacks in France in 2015, has been extremely impressive . In combating climate change, Sweden being one of the most important allies of France last year for a very successful COP21. Culturally, since France and Paris have been chosen as the focus of the Stockholm Kulturfestivalen, next August. And, of course, there will be the Euro 2016, with Sweden and Zlatan who will play in France and in particular in Nice on June 22 against Belgium.
Tourism and Investments are certainly a strong part of this flourishing relationship. In 2014, there were nearly 820 000 Swedish arrivals in France, +21 pc compared to 2013. And the first forecast for 2015 are also very good with an excellent summer. On the economic front, 100.000 French people work for Swedish companies in France.
I also want to say that the French government has put tourism and economy at the heart of its policy of influence. It is now a competence and a priority of the ministry of foreign affairs.
But the development of this relationship does not depend mainly, of course on the government. The key is the role of the actors of the civil society, the people, the companies, the regions and the cities. And there are two important cities for the relationship between France and Sweden, Paris and Nice. Probably Nice even more than Paris in fact, if you judge from the number of residents.
Under your control, M. Salles, 15000 Swedes have a permanent or secondary residence on the Cote d’Azur – which is admittedly a little larger than Nice - and around 400.000 tourists from Sweden visit it every year. The consul of Sweden in Nice is as important as an ambassador in many countries. Every week in Stockholm I meet someone who tells me about his house or his holidays in Nice or l’arrière- pays niçois. There is huge number of flights connections between the two cities – SAS is celebrating its 70 th anniversary next week.
So you all now Nice very well but I am sure that tonight, our guests will give you even more reasons to love it, to invest in it, to organize you congresses in it, to test its hotels, to visit its museums and more importantly, to enjoy its climate and its douceur de vivre between the sea and the mountain. This is why without further a due I will let the floor to M. Ruddy Salles and wish you all an excellent evening."