Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy has stressed the strength of trade and economic ties between the UAE and Sweden. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri is leading a high profile UAE economic and trade delegation in an official visit to Sweden. He added that the trade exchange volume surged US$1.2 billion in 2012 up by 28 per cent compared to 2011. The UAE minister's visit aims to boost the economic and investment co-operation and trade ties, noting that the United Arab Emirates is a second trade partner for Sweden in the Middle East. He added that the visit would open more new markets in North Europe. Al Mansouri lauded the pioneer step of Emirates for launching direct flights to the Sweden capital, Stockholm, with effect from Sept. 04, 2013, a move seen to strengthen future cooperation and consolidate the economic, trade and tourism relations between the two sides. The Trade and Promotion Section of the Embassy of Sweden in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Business Sweden in Dubai cooperate closely in commercial matters. The Embassy opened in early 2002. It covers three countries in the Gulf region — the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.