By Daniel Hunter

Business Secretary Vince Cable begins a visit to Sweden and Finland today (Monday).

During his four-day trip, the Business Secretary will visit Swedish and Finnish companies investing in the UK including Skanska, a Swedish construction company and UPM, a Finnish paper making and energy company which has made approximately £750 million worth of investments in the UK.

He will also meet UK companies which are successfully growing their businesses overseas in the Nordic markets including TelecityGroup in Helsinki.

The Business Secretary will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to driving progress on the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between Europe and the US during visits to Stockholm and Helsinki.

During the visit Vince Cable will meet with Swedish and Finnish Ministers and representatives from business and industry to discuss opportunities for the UK and the Nordics countries to further increase cooperation, business and trade.

In a specific boost for the construction sector, he will attend a ceremony at the site of the New Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, the world’s largest hospital build and servicing project. The ceremony will mark the signature by two UK small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), Astins and Measom, of construction contracts valued at £30m.

In Helsinki, Vince Cable will officially open the Telecity Data Centre. Telecity was founded in Manchester in 1998 and is headquartered in London, where it has eight data centres, and has over 30 sites in total across Europe.

“Growth remains the UK’s top priority, as it does for both Sweden and Finland and this will be the focus of my trip," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

“The UK is committed to creating growth for the whole of the EU through a liberal, outward-facing Europe and counts on Sweden and Finland as like-minded nations, strong advocates of free trade and valued trading partners.

"Crucial to our future success will be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which will be central to our discussions. It has the potential to bring as much as £100 billion to the EU economy, £80 billion to the US economy and £85 billion to the rest of the world.”

In Stockholm, the Business Secretary will:

- attend a UKTI Waste-to-Energy event for UK SMEs to explore commercial opportunities with Swedish companies Vattenfall, Fortum and E.ON
- attend a seminar to discuss Swedish and UK perspectives on growth prospects
- meet with the Swedish Confederation of Industry to discuss UK experiences of responding to the growth challenge
- visit the New Karolina Hospital and witness two new contracts won by UK SME’s worth £30 million in total
- meet with Swedish Ministers

In Helsinki, the Business Secretary will:

- attend a TTIP-seminar with the European Commission and US Embassy
- attend a business breakfast with the Finnish-British Trade Association
- officially open the Telecity Data Centre
- visit Nokia’s headquarters
- meet with Finnish Ministers

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