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Green Gothenburg offers your company green export opportunities

Sweden is very much to the fore when it comes to innovations in environmental engineering and green system solutions. As such, overseas companies and organisations, regions and countries that want to learn more in these fields are keen to visit Gothenburg – providing golden opportunities for companies in Gothenburg and surrounds to establish contact and present their offerings. However, when running a business, it's difficult to keep track of what's going on, who's here and whether they're of interest. This is where Green Gothenburg comes into the picture.

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Head of Green Gothenburg Sofia Mc Conell, and former head Bernt Svensén, explain how companies in Gothenburg and surrounds can establish business contacts and create export opportunities together with Green Gothenburg:

What is Green Gothenburg?

"It's an initiative run by the City of Gothenburg to coordinate and welcome overseas delegations visiting the city or the region. We put together a visitor programme for them and ensure that it's relevant to their interests, and this includes inviting companies from the Gothenburg region to participate and benefit from any business contacts formed. Since 2013, we've welcomed close to 250 delegations. These can be anything from groups that are here in connection with the Volvo Ocean Race, a delegation headed by China's Minister of Energy or the United Nations Development Agency, the UNDP."

What's your main focus?

"As always: knowledge and contacts, in this case within our four focus areas of transport, waste, urban development and energy. In Sweden, we're particularly skilled at systems and behaviours, and many people want to learn more about these areas, as well as the underlying policies, democratic process and decisions."

How can companies benefit from Green Gothenburg?

"We follow companies that in various ways contribute to smart and sustainable cities and invite them to participate when we receive overseas delegations. This gives them the opportunity to establish new business contacts, to sell products or to get involved in and influence behaviours and structures. Since we monitor overseas markets and important contacts, this makes the whole thing both time and cost-efficient for participating companies. They're also featured on the Green Gothenburg and Smart City Sweden websites and listed in the searchable database at Swedishcleantech.com. What's more, it's quite special to be involved in an event centred on the city. It provides unique access to the city's facilities and systems within areas such as water supply, waste management, recycling, public transport and energy. One company summed it up as, "Seeing is believing". They very much appreciated being able to show potential customers how a system works in reality. On occasion, we also offer a matchmaking service whereby sellers and buyers can sign up for one-on-one meetings in conjunction with some event, and this too is much appreciated."

How can this lead to, say, export opportunities and business contacts?

"So far, 248 companies have participated in our overseas delegation visits. We see it as a door-opener, enabling them to take the next step. It's difficult to provide a detailed picture of which meetings and contacts have resulted in business – sometimes it can take a few years. Or things can develop quickly, like when we attended an electromobility convention in Germany, which resulted in business deals for several of the companies that accompanied us. One standout example of Green Gothenburg having contributed to business is Wideco, a Borås-based company that works with monitoring and sealing concepts for district heating systems. We invited them to participate when a delegation from China was visiting. Following this, they participated in a delegation headed by the Swedish Energy Agency and Business Region Göteborg, and were represented in the delegation's booth, in conjunction with Sweden's then Minister for Energy Ibrahim Baylan visiting a trade fair and conference in Beijing – and this resulted in contracts."

Since the beginning of the year, Green Gothenburg is the regional node for Smart City Sweden, a demonstration platform for sustainable city solutions. What does this mean?

"We're part of the Swedish Energy Agency initiative to broaden the export and investment platform Smart City Sweden, which at an international level showcases businesses and test beds related to smart cities. We're responsible for the Gothenburg region, and together with other stakeholders the whole of Region Västra Götaland and Halland. Globally, Sweden is a strong brand in this context as we've achieved the most in efforts to fulfil the UN's 17 sustainable development goals, and Smart City Sweden enables us to reach out even further."

What's happening in the near future?

"This summer, a group of small businesses from India will be visiting, companies with an interest in waste management and water treatment. We're also expecting a group from Chile and Colombia, who would like to learn more about how we work with test beds and AI. In conjunction with a seminar on fossil-free preschools, several northern European companies will visit the Johanneberg Science Park project Fossil-free Energy Districts (FED) to learn more about digital platforms for cooling, heating and electricity. Regardless of industry or sector, common to all is a genuine interest in the knowledge and contacts we can offer." 

Are you curious about export opportunities in environmental engineering? Then get in touch with Green Gothenburg and tell us about your company!

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