As the city of Wilmington gears up for the royal visit this weekend, Mayor Dennis Williams is hosting Swedish dignitaries and strengthening the city’s bond with their sister city, Kalmar.

During meetings Thursday, Mayor Williams shared his plans and city initiatives for Wilmington with Kalmar Mayor Johan Persson and members of the delegation.

“We talked about what was my vision of things and what were looking at for the city of Wilmington and we talked a little bit about economic development and we talked about how businesses are the way that sustain cities, it’s the only way were going to be able to go because we cant keep taxing the residents,” said Williams. “We need to create jobs and they’re on the same page. And, education, those were the two factors.”

This is Mayor Persson’s second visit to Wilmington and he said he continues to be impressed with everything Wilmington and Delaware has to offer.

“A lot of people, a lot of good discussion, how we are going to improve the cooperation between the cities and the countries, of course, and my whole delegation of course wants to improve the cooperation between the cities,” said Perrson.

Wilmington and Kalmar have had a sister-city partnership for 50 years and Williams said the partnership is beneficial to Delaware’s history and to business.

“You never know if you have a company that might want to come in from over in their particular area like Sweden or something, they might have influence over European companies that we don’t have, and that would be great,” said Williams. “You get the jump start because your sister cities can always tell you and point you in the direction where things are going that might benefit your city. And, that’s what we want to do and I’d be willing to do that for them.”

Williams added that Wilmington city officials will travel to Sweden in June and plan to visit Kalmar.  

On Saturday, the city will host a Welcome to Wilmington event at noon at Dravo on the Riverfront to honor the visit of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden and Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, Mr. Eero Heinäluoma and his wife, Ms. Satu Siitonen-Heinäluoma.

The event is free and open to the public.

At 2:30 p.m., the Swedish royalty and the Finnish dignitaries will sail to Ft. Christina on the Kalmar Nyckel where the original Swedish settlers landed.