On April 24, 2012, visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.
Wen said that with their deepening mutual understanding in recent years, the two sides have made continuous progress in exchanges and cooperation in all areas. Both sides have witnessed steady, balanced growth of bilateral trade and rapidly expanding mutual investment. All this plays a positive role for the two countries to overcome difficulties caused by the international financial crisis. Treating Sweden as an important cooperative partner, China highly values its influence in Europe and international affairs, and is willing to strengthen coordination and collaboration with Sweden to push forward bilateral ties based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.
Sweden has been a global leader in environmental protection and sustainable development, while China takes sustainable development as a national strategy, said Wen, adding that China is ready to carry out long-term and all-around cooperation with Sweden in policy dialogue, mechanism construction, pragmatic cooperation and multilateral areas. Wen said China will take concrete steps to back its enterprises and research institutions to cement innovation cooperation with Sweden, which is the most innovative country within the European Union (EU), so as to push for the implementation of a range of key projects. Wen also welcomed the Swedish side to enlarge its investment in areas such as modern manufacturing, high-tech, service industry and agriculture in China, especially in its central and western regions. While encouraging Chinese companies to do business in Sweden, China hopes that Sweden could push the EU to launch negotiations with China on an investment deal as soon as possible, he said. Moreover, Wen also called for closer exchanges in such areas as education, culture and tourism between the two countries to build up mutual understanding and friendship between both peoples, especially between the youth.
Reinfeldt extended warm welcome for Wen's visit. He said Sweden-China exchanges have a long history and Sweden is the first Western nation to set up diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of China. With the deepening of bilateral ties, China has become Sweden's largest trading partner and important economic cooperative partner in Asia. He said in face of the challenges of globalization, the two countries should step up their cooperation in areas such as environmental protection, sustainable development and innovation to achieve mutual benefit. The Swedish prime minister also welcomed China to expand its investment in his country, and hoped more Chinese citizens would come to study, travel and work in Sweden. He promised that Sweden would like to play an active role in promoting EU-China relationship.
After the meeting, Wen and Reinfeldt attended a signing ceremony of cooperation agreements between the two countries and met the press. The two sides also issued a framework document on strengthening strategic cooperation in sustainable development.
Premier Wen arrived in Stockholm by special plane on the noon of the same day. The Swedish government held a grand welcome ceremony for Wen at the airport.
On the same day, Wen also met with the staff of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden and representatives from Chinese-funded institutions, overseas Chinese and Chinese students.