Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that Sweden is in favor of a global free trade agreement. He made the remark at a joint press conference with the visiting Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius of Lithuania in Stockholm. Lithuania will hold the forthcoming EU Presidency in the later half of this year. CRI's Chen Xuefei was present at the press conference and filed this report.
Reinfeldt said that Sweden is an export-oriented country and is in favor of global free trade agreements.
"We also talked about how to increase the free trade agreements more on the bilateral base and how we can go further when it comes to increasing conditions for free trade which is very important for export-oriented country like Sweden but I would say very good solution for a troubled Europe, where a lot of countries still faced more austerity measures rather than a lot of demand-oriented investment. "
Reinfeldt said that since the Doha round of free trade talks failed, regional free trade agreements become the second best solution for example with Asia. European Union and South Korea have reached Free Trade Agreement and the EU and Japan Free Trade negotiations have just been held in Brussels.
He also mentioned that with the forthcoming Lithuania Presidency that US President Obama will open US and EU free trade discussions and that will be of utmost interest. If that could be extended to China, he would be in favor.
Reinfeldt also took time to comment on the trade relations between Sweden and China.
"As I said I am in favor of free trade based on good agreements and also based on bilateral between European Union and (China), you ask about Sweden, well, we have very good bilateral trade with China, but as to free trade agreement, it is better and stronger between China and the EU as a whole, not just bilateral."
On bilateral relations between Sweden and Lithuania, Sweden is the biggest investor in Lithuania. A Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline project will be considered by the two sides to ensure energy security. They will try to present the Nordic and Baltic region during the Lithuanian EU presidency.