With the success of Swedish brands in clothing, home accessories and furniture chain, Stockholm is set to send largest delegation of businessmen to do business in the Philippines.
Sweden is also eyeing to reopen its embassy in Manila after shutting down in 2008 due to budget cuts, as a result of recognizing the importance of trade with the Philippines which was one of the region’s fastest-growing economies.
Local media reported as Sweden’s ambassador-designate, Harald Fries discussed, he said that no Swedish company has become hesitant to do business in the Philippines despite controversies over President’s foreign policy stance.
“Actually, there are more and more companies signing up,” Fries said.
Defense contractor Saab Group was one of the Swedish businesses that were about to move in and scheduled to inaugurate its office in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
“The concern [about the Philippines]is there but more specifically on the human rights situation, and I haven’t heard from the business sector that this translates into [loss of interest in]doing business,” Fries said.
Fries also said that Swedish Embassy in Manila will be reopened to strengthen trade and investment promotion and policy dialogue.
“We recognize the favorable economic development [in this country]and we saw a lot of potential in increasing trade and investment and person-to-person, tourism and academic exchanges,” said Fries.
Fries also noted that the number of Swedish tourists to the Philippines jumped by 73% to 23,000 between 2009 and 2015. He also said that Swedish tourists love Philippine beaches and it could expand if the quality of tourism infrastructure improves.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said that the Philippine government welcomes the return of the Swedish embassy.
“It will be a big opportunity for the two countries to improve bilateral relations in different areas of cooperation,” he said according to The Manila Times.