Why is Sweden opening a Consulate General in San Francisco?
By strengthening its presence on the West Coast of the United States, Sweden can create new opportunities for active trade promotion and promotion of Sweden, and provide better support to Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises hoping to connect with public and private counterparts engaged in emerging technologies and the cultural and creative industries. The Consulate General will also strengthen Team Sweden’s collaboration with actors such as Business Sweden, Vinnova and the nearby honorary consulate, as well as provide consular services.
With a population of approximately 40 million, California is the world’s fifth largest economy. Swedish interests in California are strong and growing. Over 100 Swedish-affiliated businesses are represented in the state and Sweden supports more than 44,000 jobs in California. California is also a world leader in innovation and research, including in green technology and vehicle development, and is home to several world top universities. Furthermore, San Francisco and Silicon Valley lead technological innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud services.
The Swedish Foreign Service adapts in response to external developments, new requirements and needs, and current budgetary situations to create the best possible conditions for an effective and coherent foreign policy and to promote Swedish interests. This changes constantly, which means Sweden sometimes opens and closes embassies and consulates.
When will the opening take place?
The opening will take place in mid-2023 the earliest.
What is the main focus of the Consulate General?
The Consulate General’s main focus is Swedish trade promotion and promotion of Sweden, but it will also provide consular services to Swedes on the West Coast of the United States.
How can a Consulate General support Swedish enterprises?
An enhanced diplomatic presence on the West Coast of the United States will create new opportunities for active trade promotion and promotion of Sweden. It will also address the increasing demand from the Swedish business sector for coordination efforts and support in the region. The Consulate General will also manage Swedish political visits, provide consular services on the West Coast of the United States and ease the workload of the Consular Department at the Embassy in Washington, DC.
How many people will work at the Consulate General?
Staffing decisions are not yet finalized. It will be a small mission.
Will Swedes be able to apply for passports at the Consulate General?
The intention is that Swedish citizens will be able to apply for Swedish passports at the Consulate General from the fall of 2023 onwards.
When did the Consulate General in New York open?
The Consulate General in New York opened in 1834, but closed in 2009 for budgetary reasons. It reopened in 2015. There was also a Consulate General in Los Angeles up until 2009.
Why did Sweden choose to open a Consulate General in San Francisco and not in Los Angeles?
San Francisco and Silicon Valley lead technological innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud services. Vinnova’s local representation, Business Sweden and a Nordic Innovation House are all in the San Francisco area. When Swedish representatives from the Riksdag, the Government and government agencies travel to the United States to visit places other than Washington DC, the destination is often California – specifically San Francisco. Moreover, Norway and Denmark have Consulates-General in San Francisco, and it is also the location on the West Coast of the United States with the most extensive consular activities.