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Niklas leaves the CLS

2 August 2020

After a year as Secretary-General, the CLS thanks Niklas as he moves on in his career to a new international opportunity. In this article, he gives a brief of his year with the CLS, his learnings and his view of the future. From the Board of Directors, we thank Niklas and wish him good luck for his future assignments.

Dear Members of the Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce,

 Less than a year ago, I wrote my first article for the CLS, where I presented myself and my vision for my time as Secretary-General of the CLS. The ambition that I set was for the Chamber to continue to grow as a platform that stimulates synergies, as well as one that provides the opportunity for our members to pool their strengths and find solutions to shared challenges. Led by the strategy from the Board of Directors and insights from our community, we have been working towards this goal during the year and, not least through the COVID-19 webinar series, has it become evident that this is the way forward.

 There are a few key highlights that I would like to share from 2019 and up to now that I believe has enabled us to function as a more dynamic organization. Since August last year we have:

  • Biweekly meetings with the Embassy of Sweden in Lisbon to coordinate the promotion of Swedish industry in Portugal
  • Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FCT Nova to strengthen the cooperation between industry and academia 
  • Deepened the collaboration with other Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Europe through the organization Swedish Chambers International
  • Strenghtened our digital engagement to become the platform for member synergies through the webinars that we are now launching regularly
  • Increased promotion for Swedish Industry by creating the “Sweden Showcase” in local fairs to promote Swedish solutions and innovation

 I am very happy for all the engagement and cooperation from our members and our community, without whom nothing would be possible. I am also content to that regardless of the current economic cycle, the Chamber continues to expand its community and the members are more engaged. It is a testimony to the potential that exists for the CLS to continue its growth and development.

 I look forward to see more cooperation with the Portuguese Startup Scene, as well to follow the continued increased collaboration with AICEP Portugal to strengthen our commitment to the Swedish-Portuguese axis and to function as a catalysator in the ecosystem. 

 I will move on to a new opportunity with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), a governmental agency under the Foreign Ministry of Sweden. As I do so, I would like to say that I am grateful for having had the great honor of leading the daily operations of the CLS during this year. I have gained lifelong lessons from this experience. I am impressed by how our members have managed to safeguard, not only their own businesses but their co-workers and Portuguese society at large. It is fantastic to see that so many of our members see themselves as agents of change and that improving society can go hand in hand with good business. 

 At the time of writing this text, there is yet no successor chosen. However, I am sure that the Board of Directors of the CLS will find a great replacement. Whomever it will be, I wish the best of luck and congratulations on gaining the opportunity to lead the operations in an organization with such inspiring members.

Thank you for this time together and all the best for the future!

Best regards,
Niklas 

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