May 2020
First of all, I hope that you and the people close to you are in good health. This is, and always will be, most important. I also hope that your business is not too negatively impacted. I know how hard many struggle right now as the COVID-19 outbreak is forcing us to rethink everything we know. It is more important than ever to help each other in any way we can. I have always believed there is an enormous strength in working together towards a common goal, in these challenging times that is truer than ever. Our network of 20 regional chambers will continue to promote trade between the U.S. and Sweden in their regions and I want to assure you that we are here for you, our members, trainees and host companies.

At SACC-USA we have had our very first virtual event on April 30. Together with the Atlantic Council we hosted a webinar with H.E. Ambassador Olofsdotter discussing the Swedish approach to the COVID-19 outbreak as well as its effects on business and trade between Sweden and the United States.The discussion was moderated by our newly appointed chairman Michael Andersson, SAAB Group. It was a very good event with more than 3400 live viewers and many insightful questions at the end to Ambassador Olofsdotter, thank you everyone who participated. If you missed the webinar it is available on the Atlantic Council’s website.

Make sure to mark May 15 in your calendar when we will have our second webinar with the Atlantic Council when Barry Pavel, Senior Vice President and Director of Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, will speak about the geopolitical implications of the Coronavirus. Sign up for the webinar here.

We are currently planning for the 2020 edition of the Executive Forum, The Forces of Change, which has been rescheduled to take place on October 1, 2020 – just a month before the presidential election. We are happy to say that the vast majority of our participants, speakers and sponsors are able to join us in October and the event is filling up. 

I am, as always, impressed by our regional chambers across the U.S. who are trying to adapt to these new and challenging circumstances. Many chambers host virtual events and continue to find ways to promote Swedish-American trade in their regions. Please keep a lookout on our social media platforms and website to join these interesting webinars in our different regions.

Take care and stay safe!

Best regards,

Johan Marcus
President and Executive Director
(202) 848-5342
SACC-USA Executive Forum rescheduled - October 1, 2020, House of Sweden, Washington DC

Considering the recent progression of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the decision to reschedule the Executive Forum (originally scheduled to take place on June 4, 2020). The new date is October 1, 2020. All registrations have been automatically carried over to the new date and we are now open for new registrations.

Our title The Forces of Change remains the same. Our sessions will cover the latest on innovation and how revolutionary technologies are creating new ways of doing business. As we are also closer to election day, an extra interesting time in Washington DC, we will capitalize on this and increase the political focus of the agenda. In light of the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we will also explore how this challenge has and will affect business and particularly trade.

We are working hard to make use of this extra time to deliver an Executive Forum you don't want to miss so make sure to register today!
The Swedish ambassador explains Sweden’s unique COVID-19 pandemic strategy
Why is everybody talking about Sweden? Lately, my country has caught the attention of the media in the United States for an unexpected reason. As the entire world struggles to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus, Sweden’s response to the pandemic has been singled out as “radical,” “lax” and “controversial” because Sweden has not imposed a broad general lockdown, an approach taken by many other countries.

Sweden is known as a country with a strong welfare model, including public health care for all, and has among the world's highest life expectancies. Some might find it difficult to reconcile this image with our approach to containing COVID-19. It's time to set the record straight on what is going on in Sweden.

Sweden shares the same goals as all other countries — to save lives and protect public health. We are also facing the same challenges as other countries; namely, the scale and speed of the virus’s spread and the pressure on the national health system. The objective is to reduce the pace of the coronavirus’s spread and to “flatten the curve” so that large numbers of people do not become ill at the same time.
Be the innovator instead of the follower
Meet Jo Vanhoren, President and CEO of Alfa Laval Inc.
Jo Vanhoren has been the President and CEO of North America at the worldwide company Alfa Laval since the year of 2018. He is based at Alfa Laval’s U.S. Headquarters in Richmond, VA, and he took the time to speak to us at SACC-USA about his background, Alfa Laval, their current crisis management, possibilities of the U.S. market as well as about upcoming future trends within the industry.

Can you please describe your company Alfa Laval in short?
We are a component manufacturer focusing on specific core products. It is everything around heat exchange technology, separation technology and transportation of fluids. We make heat exchangers, separators, pumps, and valves for three different main industries. Everything that is related to food and water, the energy sector, and the marine sector. We as a company have always been focusing on innovation from day one. The company is more than 130 years old, so we have a long track record of innovation. That brought us where we are today, but that also brings us I think into a very good spot for what concerns the future.

What connection do you and your company have with the U.S.?
We have been in the US since 1885, which is two years after the company was founded in Sweden. Out of that the company continued to grow internationally but also in the U.S. We made a good organic growth; we made many acquisitions in all the years and today in the U.S. we employ about 1700 people and we have about 34 manufacturing locations or locations where we service the equipment for our customers. I would say that the connection is there from day one more or less, it’s the backbone of the company.
What has your interaction been with the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce?
I started to interact with them when I started in the U.S. I got invited to SACC-USA’s flagship event Executive Forum where I really enjoyed the interactions. There were very good discussion topics that were brought forward, so I felt that there was a good investment both to get insights as well as building up a network with other members. Since then I have stayed engaged, and we also participated in last year’s Executive Forum, where our CEO from Sweden was one of the speakers. We are working on what we can drive together with other members as well as looking at the internship program which SACC-USA is driving. So, there are multiple ongoing contacts between Alfa Laval and SACC-USA.
US, UK launch post-Brexit trade negotiations amid coronavirus
Negotiators for the U.S. and the U.K. opened talks for a new trade agreement via teleconference Tuesday, despite postponements caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in hopes of establishing a post-Brexit economic boost.

U.K. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer began a two-week round of negotiations, with about 100 officials involved on either side.
Swedish asset owners invest in social bond to combat COVID-19
Swedish asset owners have invested 3 billion Swedish kronor ($319 million) in a social bond that supports emerging markets-based companies whose businesses have been hit by the coronavirus.

The bond was issued by the International Finance Corp.,separate news releases by the three Stockholm-based investors said.

The 928 billion kronor Alecta Pensionsforsakring invested 2 billion kronor; the 455 billion kronor Folksam Group invested 700 million kronor; and insurance company Lansforsakringar AB invested 300 million kronor in the bond.
Sweden is home to the greenest city in the world
When you think of sustainability, what city comes to mind? Oslo? Zurich? San Francisco?

While these are all excellent answers, the actual answer is situated off the Göta Älv river on the west coast of Sweden… namely Gothenburg!

The results of the Global Destination Sustainability Index were recently published and Gothenburg clinched first place for the four year in a row. This magnificent city started its streak in 2016 and continues until today.
World shares mixed amid hopes for business pickup, oil slips
Oil prices slid and world equity markets seesawed on Wednesday May 6th as investor hopes for a pickup in business activity were dashed by downbeat economic data and a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles to three-year highs that highlighted low fuel demand.
The safe-haven Japanese yen and dollar rose on data showing U.S. private payrolls tumbled by a record 20.2 million workers in April, German industrial orders fell at a record pace in March, and British construction activity fell to an all-time low last month.
39 billion in additional support measures for companies
At a press conference on the morning of April 30, the government, together with the Center and the Liberals, presented additional measures to support Swedish companies. They proposed to introduce a reorientation support to companies affected by financial difficulties. In total, the support is expected to amount to SEK 39 billion.

The reorientation support will be given to companies that had a turnover loss of at least 30 percent during March and April 2020. The support is provided for the company's fixed costs, excluding personnel costs, for these months. Examples of fixed costs are rent and leasing. To determine the size of the turnover loss, the company's turnover in March and April 2020 should be compared with the same months in 2019.
Tech leads Wall Street higher as financials fall
The benchmark S&P 500 rose modestly on Wednesday May 6th, with gains in technology shares offsetting declines in financials and defensive groups as data showing U.S. private employers laid off 20 million workers in April underscored the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose over 1% while the Dow eked out a gain. Four of the 11 major S&P sectors were positive, with tech leading. Financials and other cyclical groups, which often outperform when the economic outlook improves, declined.
Marco's experience at SACC Georgia
Marco Benedetto is 22 years old and comes from the small town of Trollhättan in Sweden. He is studying Business Administration at the school of Business, Economics, and Law in Gothenburg (Handelshögskolan). He is currently an exchange visitor in Georgia.

“Thanks to SACC – USA’s trainee program, I have been given the opportunity to work with Business Development for SACC- Georgia in the beautiful city of Atlanta and at the same time attend the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology for the last five months”.

What was your experience interning at our SACC chamber in Georgia?

My internship at the SACC Georgia chamber was a great way of meeting a lot of interesting people behind many of the successful enterprises we have in Georgia and find ways to develop ties between the businesses in Georgia and Sweden. My time at Georgia Tech gave me a chance to meet and network with people closer to my own age and was a great opportunity to try to connect these young professionals in my class with Sweden and give them a sense of what the Swedish culture is like. In that sense, I think, the internship and my class at Georgia Tech complemented each other well and that the class was a channel for providing value for both my local chamber, SACC-USA, and my classmates when connecting them with Sweden.

SACC-USA Webinars
The Geopolitical Implications of COVID-19
Please join the Atlantic Council and SACC-USA for a virtual 'fireside chat' with  Barry Pavel, Senior Vice President of the Atlantic Council and Director of the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, on  "The Geopolitical Implications of COVID-19." The event will take place on  Friday, May 15, 2020 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT, and will be held online through Zoom video-conference technology. To receive the Zoom link, please register by clicking the button below.
Swedish-American Cooperation in the era of Covid-19
The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce hosted a successful webinar together with Atlantic Council and Sweden’s ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Karin Olofsdotter on April 30th. The topic of the webinar was Sweden’s way of dealing with the Covid-19 virus as well as trade relations between the US and Sweden. In total more than 3400 viewers joined the live streaming of the event. If you were not able to attend the last webinar you can access the webinar recording here.
Helpful Links

For more resources and information about SACC-USA's response to COVID-19 please visit:


Due to the current status of the Corona virus, and our main focus being the health of our participants, SACC USA’s regional chambers have decided to postpone or cancel all planned events, except for webinars, until further notice. Thank you very much for your understanding and assistance in this matter.

Please contact your regional chamber for further information regarding local events and programs.