TAGUIG CITY, Nov. 15 (PIA)–The Embassy of Sweden in the Philippines was recently reopened in Taguig City. In a statement, Mikael Damberg, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, said that the reopening of the embassy would strengthen the presence of Sweden in Southeast Asia. The Sweden Embassy in the Philippines was closed in 2008 due to budget cuts of its government caused by the global economic crisis.
As the Government of Sweden reopens its embassy in Manila, the Philippines, through its Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) eyes strengthened economic relations with Sweden.
“We have seen Sweden’s interest in the country as we welcome their largest inbound delegation to Manila with over 70 delegates from various Swedish companies,” said Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.
On November 7, DTI welcomed the over twenty-eight (28) Swedish companies with 70 business delegates led by Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Mikael Damberg. The business delegation also coincides with the reopening of the Embassy of Sweden in Manila after it had been closed in 2008.
“Swedish are known for their quality products and innovative solutions. We look forward in future partnerships with them and heightened trade relations that will generate more jobs for Filipinos,” Terrado added.
Minister Damberg on the other hand mentioned that Sweden’s enhanced business relations with the Philippines is also seen in the recent expansion of IKEA, an international furniture chain store, in the country.
During the re-opening ceremonies of the Embassy of Sweden on 8 November, DTI Undersecretary Terrado also emphasized the importance of the embassy’ and Ambassador Harald Fries’ presence in Manila in furthering economic relations between Philippines and Sweden. She noted that at present, there are over 40 Swedish companies established in the Philippines.
In a message by Ambassador Harald Fries and Country Manager Carl Mamlmqvist, they mentioned that the reopening of the Embassy of Sweden in Manila is a strong signal of the Swedish government’s commitment to enhanced relations between Sweden and the Philippines. Sweden’s increased interest to the Philippines goes beyond trade and investment deals.
Other areas of mutual interest include student exchange, disaster response and tourism. According to the DTI, Sweden ranked as the Philippines’ 43rd trading partner (out of 223), 59th export market (out of 211), and 36th import supplier (out of 203) in 2015. Total bilateral trade amounted to US$143.40 million. (DTI/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)