Blekinge County, Sweden
Located in southeast Sweden, Blekinge County has an area of 2941 km2 and a population of about 150,000. Its capital city is Karlskrona. Blekinge is Sweden’s gateway to Denmark, Germany, Poland and other Baltic countries, enjoying an important commercial and military status. It is also an information industry leader across the Baltic region, with the well-known Blekinge Institute of Technology and Software Center, as well as a number of world-famous giants such as Volvo, ABB, Ericsson and Valeo, giving Blekinge a strong advantage in education, high-tech, biological resources development and environmental protection.
Since Yunnan and Blekinge officially became friendship provinces on September 6, 2002, the two sides have seen frequent bilateral exchanges in various fields and high-level visits. The picture exhibition entitled Scenery and Ethnic Customs in Yunnan, jointly held by the two sides at Blekinge Institute of Technology, showcased the breathtaking natural beauty and colorful ethnic customs of Yunnan, arousing great interest among the local people. The Yunnan-Sweden Symposium on Forestry Cooperation and Tourism, Culture and Environment Sustainability was held in Kunming, providing a good platform for both sides to enhance exchanges and cooperation in these areas. Blekinge Province has set up an investment and trade promotion office in Kunming. It also sent delegations to attend the Kunming Fair for many times and was awarded “Outstanding Exhibitor” in 2003 by the organizing committee. Fruitful cooperation has been carried out in teacher and student swap between Kunming University of Science & Technology and Blekinge Institute of Technology. The Blekinge Confucius Institute, jointly set up by the two universities, is Yunnan’s first Confucius Institute in Europe. Its Chinese course, as part of the Institute’s credit and curriculum system, has launched a range of activities spreading Chinese traditional culture and updating the China-Sweden exchanges and China’s development. Nie Er Zhuyue Orchestra attended the opening ceremony of the Baltic Sea Music Festival held in Karlshamn, staging a feast of colorful Yunnan music, dance and costumes to the Swedish audience.