Krister Kling Sweden’s Honorary Consul To Vietnam

Krister Kling, a Swedish subject has been appointed Honorary Consul General. Kling, 49 years old, is married with five children and hails from Malmo in Sweden. He was previously Swedish Honorary Vice Consul in Ho Chi Minh helping Niels Sundvik, Honorary Consul General but at the end of December 2005, Sundvik retired. Kling was then promoted to this new position as Honorary Consul General of Sweden in Ho Chi Minh City.
Kling recently presented his credentials signed by His Majesty the King of Sweden appointing him as the Honorary Consul General of Sweden at a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he presented his diploma in Hanoi.

Trade and investment growth
      Contacts between Sweden and Vietnam are increasing in many different areas, especially in trade and investment, magnifying the significance of a Swedish Honorary Consulate in HCM and in the south of Vietnam. Krister Kling along with Håkan Ottosson, Honorary Vice Consul and Chief Representative of Swedish Trade Council in HCM, are in the same boat promoting and strengthening bilateral trade and business opportunities for Swedish and Vietnamese companies in both countries.
“Nowadays, it is very interesting that Swedish companies head over here to do business in Asia. More Swedes are showing an interest in setting up business operations in Vietnam as it is an excellent trade and investment destination. This country is centrally located in Asia with highly-trained workforces – skilled, educated, and available – and also with reasonable salary levels compared to the rest of Asia,” says Kling.
There are approximately 50-60 Swedish businesses in HCM City, Vietnam’s busiest economic and business center. Kling says that most Swedish businessmen are satisfied with Vietnam where it is very easy for them to adjust themselves to the Vietnamese style because it is safe and secure.
Bilateral trade between Sweden and Vietnam has been growing steadily in the past five years. In 2004-2005, imports from Vietnam increased by 7 percent and exports from Sweden to Vietnam increased by 9 percent reaching about SEK 1 billion or VND 2 trillion in both directions.
“Nowadays, the main exports from Vietnam to Sweden are textiles, agricultural products and souvenirs,” Kling adds.
“Just very recently, Sweden’s Becker Acroma set up new facility at Dong An Industrial Park in Binh Duong province outside HCM. This is an example of circumstances that can help develop and educate the wood processing industry in Vietnam,” he says.
Kling, who heads up Guston Molinel sees that opportunities between Sweden and Vietnam in trade and investment are significantly increasing. One area of great potential investment, among other main industries in Vietnam – agriculture, textile, oil and gas – is the assembly industry.
“I think Vietnam is very suitable for European manufacturers, not only for Swedes. Vietnam – the Land of Blue Dragon – will likely establish itself as a Mecca for European businesses of medium size in the next ten years. I also think that you will see lot of development and business promotion in rural areas of Vietnam and it will be much easier to develop opportunities in trade and investment,” he predicts.
      “For those who want to establish a business in Vietnam, first of all you have to be well prepared. Secondly, be patient and then business will come. I would say if you set up an assembly business industry here starting from zero, you will gain profit in 12 -16 months. If it is import-export industry, it will be just three months before you see a return,” Kling reckons.
      “Investors can go to the Swedish Trade Council for advice on available programs under the bilateral cooperation scheme between companies of the two countries and for an update on upcoming projects with multilateral financing.”

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