Greetings from Mr Mattias Larsson, Board Member

Development is something we will shape together!

I am sitting onboard the ferry somewhere between Vaasa and Umeå, pondering about the prospects for Pohjanmaa in Finland and Västerbotten in Sweden in the world we have ahead of us. Have spent the day discussing the Kvarken Council’s future strategy with our skillful staff at the office. We live in a truly ever-changing world which is shrinking day by day. It is getting easier and easier to travel from one country to another; I have spent one day in Vaasa and have been able to use my cell phone as usual and paid with my cash card just the same as at home in Umeå. And I believe that this is what the world will look like in the future: if we want to succeed, we need to sort out the problems in living and working across the borders, realizing that we all – people and countries – co-exist on the same global arena.
Some time ago I happened to notice a column in the Aftonbladet newspaper where the author wrote that when she, in her youth, went on an Interrail tour in Europe, she had to obtain a permit from the Bank of Sweden to take more than 6,000 SEK with her. Now we transfer money up and down the globe by touching an icon on our cell phone, with no restrictions.

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Obviously, this opens up immense opportunities but, at the same time, we will be faced with stiff competition and will start lagging behind other countries immediately if we are not efficient and alert. But on the other hand, if we work together on both sides of the Kvarken Strait, we will be more than able to assert ourselves!

I get happy every day walking around Umeå when I hear lots of visitors speaking Finnish on our streets and it was a true joy onboard the ferry to mill around with youngsters from a number of wrestling clubs in the Vaasa region, probably on their way home after a competition in Västerbotten. I am confident that an increasing exchange between our countries will make us more successful! 

Mattias Larsson
Centerpartiet Party, Chairman of Västerbotten District, Member of the Board of Kvarken Council

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