Keith Curtis says Sweden is a gateway to other Nordic and Baltic countries.
Yes, Keith Curtis says emphatically. He and others will be explaining why Sweden makes sense during a presentation at SAE's 2005 World Congress, which begins April 11 in Detroit.
Curtis is the senior commercial officer in Stockholm for the U.S. Commercial Service, a part of the Commerce Department. He is a kind of economic diplomat, charged with promoting business relationships between Americans and Swedes.
So, he might be a bit biased.
But, to be clear, he didn't say Sweden is the world's most important market, just one that is particularly inviting:
Sweden has healthy automotive and aerospace industries. It has companies that are interested in America's high-quality, advanced-technology products, especially with safety and environmental functions. Many Swedish business leaders are already familiar with the United States. Plus, Sweden serves as a gateway to other Nordic and Baltic countries - a region with $860 billion in annual economic activity. That's more than Canada or Mexico, Curtis says.
"All these things add up," he says.
The trade promotion presentation is the first of its kind for the Commercial Service at the annual SAE congress. Other markets will be featured in future years, officials say.
The presentation will be at 11 a.m. April 13 at the SAE Technical Innovation Forum. Other speakers include Thomas Moore, deputy director general of the Commercial Service; Steven Armstrong, senior vice president for purchasing of Volvo Car Corp.; and Per-Olov Svedlund, senior vice president of Scania AB, a heavy-truck and bus company.
In general, Curtis says a company interested in export markets can contact one of the Commercial Service's 108 U.S. offices for advice and guidance.
Curtis, 50, served previously in Japan and Brazil.