On April 23, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with Lars Backstrom, governor of Sweden's Vastra Gotaland province in Gothenburg.
During the meeting, Wen said that the China-Sweden friendship dates back to nearly 300 years ago when the Swedish merchant ship "Gothenburg" arrived in China. Sweden is one of the first Western countries recognizing the People's Republic of China. Bilateral economic and trade cooperation has yielded rich fruit ever since, Wen said. Cooperation between automakers of China's Geely and Sweden's Volvo serves as a fine example of jointly coping with the global financial crisis and achieving a win-win outcome, which creates new job opportunities for Sweden, he added. The two nations have great potential for cooperation in economy and trade, said Wen, adding Sweden has advanced technology and management, while China enjoys a huge market. He voiced his belief that the China-Sweden friendship will be further deepened and consolidated with expanded cooperation.
Backstrom, for his part, extended warm welcome for Wen's visit to Vastra Gotaland Province. He said that the friendship between the two nations enjoys a long history and a solid foundation. Hailing the sound cooperation between both sides, he said the Chinese premier's visit will surely further promote the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries.
Before the meeting, Wen visited the archaistic "Gothenburg" ship.