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Europe » Sweden » Västra Götaland » Gothenburg
November 3rd 2016
Published: November 3rd 2016
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We were due to meet with Moa Boethiüs Lind this morning who works in the Department of Business and Regional Development but unfortunately Moa was unwell and unable to attend so the session was cancelled. Abby was a bit gutted as she was looking forward to this session as it deals with some of the same issues her team deal with back in Durham.

Thankfully we were sent some information with more to follow and did some research ourselves to find out a little more around this area of responsibility.

We found out that the region places an important focus on developing and supporting businesses not only to enable the business to grow and prosper but also to help the region as a whole to improve its quality of life for residents and attract visitors from around the world.

The geographic location in northern Europe of Vastra Gotaland in the heart of Scandinavia means people from all over the world come here to do business, get education and training, visit as tourists, or build a future for themselves and their families.

An open, inclusive social climate has created a diversity of businesses, enterprises, lifestyles and ideas that contribute to Vastra Gotaland's continuous renewal and development. This diversity reflects the region’s inhabitants, the mix of smaller towns, cities and the countryside as well as the flourishing activities.

They hold many things in great importance such as trade, enterprise and research, but also entertainment, love and good quality of life. These qualities share a common ground as they are based on interaction and meetings between people.

We found out that this part of the world has been an important meeting place for thousands of years. The region divides this topic into 3 main sections that are Opportunities, Experiences and Roots that provide some examples of what Vastra Gotaland has to offer – both on a professional level and a personal level, for visitors and for residents. They have the vision that the best things in life are interconnected.

Opportunities

Vastra Gotaland is one of the twenty fastest-growing European regions. The region's most important growth dynamo is cross-sectoral collaboration between industry, education and other stakeholders. Both traditional industries and new research and technology sectors enjoy a strong position here – helped by the frequent collaboration between them.

There is a strong focus on innovation and sustainability within sectors like life science, transport, food and green industries. The industry's investments in research and development are among the highest in Europe. Much of the research is conducted by major companies, often in collaboration with the research at their universities, colleges, institutes and science parks.

Experiences

Vastra Gotaland has a varied natural environment with the sea, lakes, flatlands and mountains. This makes it the perfect place for all sorts of outdoor activities, it could be physical challenges such as canoeing around the archipelago, climbing or mountain biking, gentler adventures such as hiking, fishing or bird watching, or simply relaxing on a beach or cliffside.

The Swedish Right of Public Access law allows everybody free access to forests and land. The fresh traditional foods in the region are as varied as its nature. Wild animals, berries and mushrooms from the inland forests are all regional delicacies.

The region has loads to offer around culture and entertainment, cultural festivals and fairs attract visitors from all over the world.

The region also hosts a multitude of sports events that attract people from everywhere, both as spectators and participants.

Roots

Vastra Gotaland's geographical position gives important clues to why their history evolved as it did. The sea, fishing and the long coastline with the Port of Gothenburg as a maritime hub and the fertile land around the lakes have shaped life in the region. Ships returning from distant countries did not only bring goods, they also brought ideas, knowledge and people who settled and integrated into the region.

The region traditionally maintained strong contacts by road with the rest of Sweden, their Nordic neighbours and other countries around the North Sea. This history of people who chose to settle and live in Vastra Gotaland can be traced from the Stone Age to the present day.

We have a lot more information about this to bring back to Durham and have found out some really interesting and relevant facts we think some of the teams back at the Council will be interested in.

With us having a free afternoon we decided to visit the Gothenburg museum. The museum had some interesting pieces from Viking times, how music has developed in Sweden and some historical artifacts. Some of pieces included ruins of a Viking ship, eighteenth century jewelry, swords, findings from over 12,000 years ago when the first inhabitants came to Gothenburg and a skeleton of a young man who dyed on a bed of oysters over 4,500 years ago and is so well preserved because of the lime in the oyster shells. Afternoon highlight, Helen breaking the old fashioned type writer!

The winter weather is now setting in and we've even got a bit of snow.

Sorry we don't have any photo's today we had a technical issue with the camera - normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

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