Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson met with the Swedish Ambassador to the United States on Wednesday to discuss potential “trade and business opportunities between Dallas and Sweden.”
Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter was accompanied by Helene Honeybone, honorary consul of Sweden to Dallas. Mayor Johnson invited Kay Bailey Hutchison, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO who serves on the Mayor’s International Advisory Council (MIAC), to join the meeting as well.
Olofsdotter “expressed interest” in Johnson’s international initiatives, specifically the potential of a new Swedish trade office in the Dallas International District.
In December, Johnson brought the French trade office to the district. His then-chief of staff, Tristan Hallman, told The Dallas Express that members of the mayor’s team “have been talking to representatives from other nations about opening more offices.”
Olofsdotter also discussed the “significant presence” of Swedish businesses in the Dallas area and noted the “recent trend for small and medium-sized companies choosing Dallas over other major American cities,” according to a press release sent to The Dallas Express by the Office of Mayor Johnson.
Johnson and Hutchinson claimed the city’s recent tax rate cut, robust economy, commitment to public safety, and ease of access to the second-busiest airport in the world — Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport — make Dallas an economically advantageous location.
Last year, the City of Dallas approved a $4.5 billion budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, but within that budget was the most significant tax reduction the City has seen in decades. The budget included a 2.75¢ decrease in the property tax rate — lowering the rate from 77.33¢ to 74.58¢ per $100 valuation.
However, despite Mayor Johnson’s stated “commitment to public safety,” the past few months have seen a marked year-over-year increase in violent crime. At a Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, DPD Major Jason Scoggins noted to council members that aggravated assaults and murders have risen significantly since the beginning of the year, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.