Volume II | February, 15 2021
Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network and business and social events. The SACC-DC Newsletter will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the Swedish-American business community and find the perfect opportunity to create new business connections in the greater Washington D.C. area and Mid-Atlantic region.
From the Executive Director
Most analysts believe that 2021 will see a strong economic rebound albeit from a weak COVID baseline; key central banks are signaling that rates will remain on hold at historically low levels and as such support equities and strong growth in corporate earnings. How strong the rebound will largely depend on how quickly policymakers in Washington D.C. churn out a decision on Biden’s economic aid proposal and in what size. At least bipartisan interest has existed for years in passing an infrastructure package. An infrastructure bill following this summer’s $1.5 trillion House-passed initiative would have boosted employment and provided some needed attention to the nation’s roads, bridges, and public transit. Friday’s unemployment data showed the for every job lost, roughly one was created. The devil is in the details though, as too many of the newly created jobs fell in the low-skill, low-pay category. Infrastructure also encompasses ports, water infrastructure, housing, public schools, and broadband internet access, all in line with efforts needed to rebound after the pandemic. As the U.S. recommits to the Paris climate agreement and federal agencies review and reinstates more than 100 environmental regulations weakened or rolled back under the previous administration, recent business barometers have detected a momentum in ESG considerations among investors, focusing on companies offering greener solutions in energy generation, construction, and in transport. Be sure to catch the train by partaking in the Chamber’s sustainability series! Similarly, the Chamber invites you to digital healthcare-related trade delegations to catch the momentum of increased public spending on healthcare infrastructure, preparing for future pandemics while increasing investments in-home care and telemedicine. Our offerings will help you hang in there a little longer just as we thought we could not take any more of home offices and Zoom living…

Almost there! Till then, be well. Karin

New additions to the SACC-DC Team
As SACC-DC is entering a new year, two new additions are welcomed to the administration team. David Grönqvist and Rasmus Jonsson will join the Chamber on a one-year respectively six months duration. The new Business Associates will assist Executive Director, Karin Hammar and current Business Associate, Thea Nguyen on a daily basis. 
Rasmus Jonsson joined SACC-DC in January 2021. His academic background encompasses a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in international business & management from California State University, Monterey Bay. Rasmus is currently in his last semester at American University and Kogod School of Business, located in Washington DC, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Sustainability Management. With a passion for sustainability, Rasmus will contribute to the chamber with knowledge and competence in and around the topic of sustainability. Further, Rasmus hopes to be able to assist in the process of connecting more Swedish and American companies and institutions that share a common goal of a more sustainable tomorrow.

Contact Rasmus here.
David Grönqvist earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics at Linköping University in Sweden with an emphasis in management. He is currently pursuing a master’s in International and European Relations. David has an interest in defense and security policies but hopes to bring a combination of skills in business and public policies to the chamber as well. Outside academia, David enjoys being outdoor doing various types of sports activities. David joined SACC-DC in January 2021 remotely from Sweden but hopes to join the colleagues in Washington D.C. in the summer.

Contact David here.

Spotlight - Oscar Theblin, Former Senior Business Associate
Goodbye and thank you, Oscar! Graduating with a master's degree in International Public Policy last year, I was keen to pursue opportunities in a setting where my interest in foreign policy and international trade would be put to good use. At SACC-DC both have been relevant to my work, but Washington D.C. in itself provides an environment full of opportunities for anyone looking to build an international career. The opportunity to work in the U.S. as a Business Associate during an election year marked a unique chance. While 2020 has presented challenges to living in a new city that was unimaginable just months before, Washington D.C. has felt like home nonetheless. As the political heart of the U.S., there are places and networks to tap into regardless of what issues you are passionate about. It is also home to a large group of young professionals from all over the world, making for an interesting social environment. The U.S. is very open to newcomers and Washington D.C. is no exception, but personal relationships are even more important here than in Sweden especially for professional purposes. However, the COVID-19 closings have had a significant impact on my personal experience as working from home and prolonged
restrictions on businesses have limited the possibilities to take in all of what D.C. has to offer.
With SACC-DC, I have gained a holistic understanding of Swedish-American business and the challenges they face, specifically related to transatlantic regulatory differences. The Business Associate role afforded me the opportunity to take part in the full range of tasks necessary to facilitate the activities of the Chamber. There are few places that offer more diversity in the industries and issues than SACC-DC, making for an intense but rewarding learning environment.
As part of my role with the Chamber, I have spent the Autumn with our member law firm Pillsbury at
their International Trade and Public Policy practices. With the Presidential Election in November, my
work focused on producing client alerts analyzing key policy priorities of the candidates including
energy, trade, foreign and digital policy to assist clients with preparing for any eventual outcome.
Alongside this project, I also assisted the International Trade practice with projects specifically on EU-U.S. trade and the Nordic region. This opportunity to work alongside some of D.C.’s best lawyers on events evolving by the day has honed my analytical skills and afforded me a broad knowledge of U.S. politics. It has also offered a first-hand experience of working within a large American organization.
After almost a year in the U.S. during a time when the country as a whole has coped with deep conflicts
and crises my personal experience has been challenging but very valuable. Professionally, I have
broadened my capabilities to include a broad knowledge of U.S. politics and trade policy, but also the
knowledge of how to run and adapt an organization to meet new challenges. This will without a doubt
be valuable to my future career as a solid base to build on wherever I go next.

Quote Nancy Fischer, SACC-DC Chairperson, and Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Supervisor

Oscar has been a tremendous resource for us and his skills in international public policy and his
detail-oriented nature have made him a natural fit for our international trade and public policy
practices. He has impressed many senior partners and management within the firm, and his
success during his time with us demonstrates the strength of our trainees and the opportunities
our member companies can provide. It is really a win-win!
Volvo Cars report strongest second-half sales in company history on pandemic recovery

Volvo Cars reported the strongest second-half sales numbers in the company’s history in 2020, as fast-growing demand for its electrified cars boosted the company’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic impact. Volvo Cars, which is a longtime member of SACC-DC and represented by Katherine Yehl, Vice President of Govt affairs the Americas at Volvo Car Group has a comprehensive climate plan which addresses carbon emissions across all its operations and products, towards its ambition to become a climate-neutral company by 2040.

The company acted decisively to mitigate the impact of the pandemic during the first half of the year, allowing it to quickly restart its operations after a brief shutdown and embark on a strong recovery, helped by fast-growing demand for its Recharge line-up of chargeable cars.

The share of Recharge models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2019. In Europe, the share of Recharge cars of overall sales was 29 percent, making Volvo the leading brand in the region for chargeable cars. It was also a leading plug-in hybrid brand in the US.

In China and the United States, its two largest individual markets, the company reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to more than recover a pandemic-related sales drop in the first half during the second half of the year.

If you are interested in learning more about Volvo Cars' climate plan or their recharge models, please contact Kathrine Yehl.

Join the SACC-Carolinas, SACC-Georgia, and SACC-DC for a lunch webinar highlighting the international women's day on March 8th. The webinar will focus on women in sustainability. The panel will feature four women that have had a positive impact on sustainability in their fields of work.

Featured speakers include:

Petra Wadstrom: Founder and CEO of Solvatten. Learn more about Petra here.

Caroline Decker: Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line at Amtrak. Learn more about Caroline here.

Anna Lindberg: Owner and CEO of Anima Leadership. Learn more about Anna here.

Katarina Thorstensson: Smart Tourism & Sustainability Strategist. Learn more about Katarina here.

Sofia Arkelsten, former Swedish politician and current Senior Director at Hallvarsson & Halvarsson will act as discussion moderator.

The SACC organization hopes to see you there:

Northvolt -- A sustainability Giant 
A renewable energy-powered battery plant in northern Sweden receives another major investment. For the first episode featuring ESG companies (environmental, social, and corporate governance), SACC-DC will highlight Northvolt AB. Northvolt is a Swedish impact-focused battery cell developer and manufacturer, specialized in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles. In mid-2019 the company completed its initial capital raise to enable one of Europe’s first homegrown giga-factories for lithium-ion batteries. This was made while profiling towards sustainable production. 
With their first large-scale battery factory being established in Skellefteå in northern Sweden, Northvolt Ett (Northvolt One) will serve as their primary site for manufacturing of active electrode material, cell assembly, recycling, and auxiliaries. Billed as Europe’s first home-grown “Giga factory” for advanced rechargeable batteries, the planned Northvolt Ett facility in Skellefteå, has received another $600 million investment from a group that includes several international investment institutions but also Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, the online music service.
The new factory is powered by 100 percent clean energy, mainly hydroelectric. Large-scale manufacturing will commence in 2021 and annual capacity will ramp up to at least 32 GWh by 2024, with the potential to expand to 40 GWh in the future. Just to give a hint, around 50 GWh is needed per one million electrical vehicles, and an estimated figure sometimes mentioned for new electrical car sales in Europe by 2025 is four million.  

Founded by the former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson in 2016, Northvolt is sometimes described as a rival to the U.S. electric car maker in its efforts to dominate the European market for rechargeable batteries with its partners and owners such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Scania.                                                                                        

At impact-focused Northvolt, sustainability provides the fundamentals to their mission of building a green lithium-ion battery to enable the European transition to a clean, carbon-neutral energy future. With its factories initially in Sweden and Germany, Northvolt’s main intention is to set a new benchmark for sustainable manufacturing, not only of batteries but for manufacturing at large. Alongside the use of less carbon-intensive energy through production, notable proactive efforts that would contribute to lowering the overall carbon footprint for batteries include designing for increased recyclability and longer product lifetimes; incorporating higher proportions of recycled material content, and reducing resource use in general; and embracing more sustainable logistics operations. 

Another important task for Northvolt is to inform its customer base about their work, so by facilitating transparency on carbon footprints and other environmental impact indicators, Northvolt can empower consumers to exercise their right to make informed decisions over the products they choose.

“We recognize our responsibility as a global corporate citizen, and will work with employees, investors, partners, customers and communities to ensure that our products shift societies towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

March’s newsletter will feature Garo AB. GARO is responsible for the business areas of electric vehicle chargers and electrical installation and systems.  -- Someone else does not work at GARO. We all have a responsibility for our products and our operations.

Learn more about Lithium-ion batteries via the United Nation’s Basel convention:      
Survey Promulgation From SACC-USA


Biden's new climate plan a big opportunity for Swedish export companies,
says seven out of ten members of the Swedish-American Chamber of

[Washington D.C., USA, January 25, 2021.] The new US President Joe Biden has presented an
ambitious climate plan that can benefit Swedish companies and strengthen the US economy as a whole according to a survey conducted by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in mid-January.

The US economy will have a green injection in 2021. That is the opinion of the members of
the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC USA) who participated in the SACC USA
Business Survey in mid-January, right before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of
the United States.

As many as six out of ten respondents (62.8%) believe that Joe Biden's new climate plan will have a positive impact on the US economy, and a majority (53.8%) believe that the economy will have fully recovered (in level with January 2020) during 2022. “Our members are optimistic about 2021,” says Johan Marcus, CEO of SACC USA. “Despite major challenges, many tend to see the light in the tunnel in the form of a covid vaccine, and a newly appointed president who will invest heavily in the climate.

Managing climate change is an area where many feel that Swedish companies are very competitive,” he said. Seven out of ten (68.7%) respondents also believe that Biden’s climate plan may have a
positive impact on Swedish companies' opportunities to sell more products in the US
market. Almost three out of four (74.6%) participants believe that it can actually encourage
Swedish companies to take the step over to the US market. Biden's climate plan particularly
points out several areas and industries that are to be stimulated: automotive and transit,
power sector, housing and buildings, infrastructure, innovation, agriculture/conservation,
and environmental justice.

“Now it is important that Swedish companies can show that they have a cutting edge in
sustainable technology and sustainable solutions,” said Johan Marcus. “We do have a good
reputation and prominent companies with socially smart solutions, and if we can show that
and position ourselves correctly, the future looks bright.”
“Our members believe that Swedish companies can make a special difference in industries
such as cars and transport, energy, houses and buildings, infrastructure and innovation. It is
also in line with my view of how the Swedish export industry stands in the international
competition”, he added.

221 members of SACC USA have responded to the survey, which also asks about the
perceived development of the dollar exchange rate against the Swedish krona. Over the past
year, the dollar has fallen by almost 20 percent against the Swedish krona, something that
has disadvantaged Swedish companies in the United States. Opinions on the development of
the dollar over the coming year are divided among SACC members. Just over half of the
members (46%) believe that the dollar will rise in the coming year, while the other half
believe that it will decline or remain at the same level as now.

“The Swedish krona has been strong, and the dollar has found a level against the krona that will
probably be unchanged for a while. The dollar's position will then reflect how successful the
recovery in the US will be,” says Johan Marcus.

About the SACC USA Business Survey

The SACC USA Business Survey was conducted between January 11-20, 2021. The purpose of
the survey was to find out how SACC USA members perceive Joe Biden's proposals for
solutions in the environmental field could benefit Swedish companies in the US market. The
survey also asked about the economic recovery in the US in connection with COVID-19 and
the dollar's development against the Swedish krona in 2021. 221 SACC members across the US participated in the web survey which consisted of nine questions. SACC members bring
together a dynamic and diverse mix of entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, and
professional experts, as well as representatives of various organizations and academia.
SACC USA is represented in 19 locations in 37 states.

For more information, please contact:

Johan Marcus, VD, SACC USA
+1-202-848-53 42

André Persson, CCO, SACC Texas
+1-972-765 54 52
Upcoming Events/Webinars
Delegation program incl. High-Level Forum

Digital MedTech & Pharma Trade Delegation in collaboration with Swecare. The dates of the actual delegation program are still preliminary but planned for the end of March. Apart from webinars of regulatory and reimbursement issues, the program will consist of a high-level forum to discuss common challenges in healthcare, with a focus on showcasing Swedish solutions. If possible, there will also be digital "study visits" to healthcare providers.

Date: TBA (Late March)
Previous Events/Webinars
2021 SACC-DC Annual Meeting
With the start of a new year, the SACC-DC Annual Meeting was hosted online, January 28, to evaluate the past year and elect new members to the Board of Directors. All SACC-DC Members were welcomed to attend. The Swedish Ambassador to the United States. Karin Olofsdotter attended and spoke about the latest updates from the embassy. Michael Wood, former US ambassador to Sweden did also attend the meeting.
On January 21, SACC-DC hosted, together with Swecare a pre-delegation webinar. Various speakers including Ann Taylor, Michael Hoak, Robert Thomas, and Kevin Holst contributed to a very interesting webinar. Business Sweden presented their brand new report on the Swedish-American Life Science Landscape, covering topics such as digitization, the importance of prevention and access to healthcare, and focus on collaboration, innovation, and building back better. During the second part of the webinar, participants had the opportunity to listen and interact with a panel of experts discussing the US healthcare system under the Biden administration.
Link to the recording:
Webinar Opportunities: Sustainability Series 2021

Renewable energy, green financing, bio-based materials, circular economy, sustainable logistics, etc. - sustainability is a highly popular topic!

We are currently looking for sponsors and hosts for our Sustainability Webinar Series. There is a great interest in sustainability in our Swedish-American network. Are you and/or your organization a sustainability-enthusiast and wants to update us about the latest innovations within this field? Do not hesitate to host, sponsor and/or participate in a webinar, discussing your topics with other experts and business leaders!

Please contact Business Associate Thea Nguyen at Thea.nguyen@sacc-dc.org for further information!
Renew your individual membership today!

SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. Our annual flagship business events include SACC Summit, the Young Professionals program and other corporate events, seminars and workshops. We also tailor trade missions for Swedish companies interested in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

Whether an individual with a keen interest in or connection with Sweden living in D.C. or a company looking to establish new relationships, we can help you reach your next goal.
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