Inaugural Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit announced

In the spring of 2015 Sweden’s Southeast Asia-based ambassadors jointly, and in partnership with Business Sweden, held seminars back in the home country in order to promote the various markets in ”their” region as being ripe markets for increased Swedish export and investment.

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As an additional way to strengthen the Team Sweden efforts and as a platform for engagement, the inaugural ‘Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit’ is now officially confirmed. With the view that Southeast Asia is the world’s new growth engine offering, as in the words of Sweden’s ambassador to Singapore, ”fantastic opportunities for Swedish companies to grow in a number of areas”, this summit will take place on 21-22 September in Singapore, held at Parkroyal on Pickering hotel.

During two days company representatives as well as various business associations and official representatives of Business Sweden and the various embassies will gather to share best practices on how to do business in this dynamic part of the world. All Swedish businesses in Sweden and the Southeast Asia region are welcomed to attend this summit, hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore, Business Sweden and the Swedish Business Association of Singapore (SBAS).

”Southeast Asia is the world’s new growth engine,” begins Sweden’s ambassador to Singapore, Håkan Jevrell, when explaining the reasons behind this new initiative to ScandAsia.
Southeast Asia is home to more than 650 million people with a rapidly growing middle class. Despite slowing economic growth in China, the Southeast Asian region is estimated to grow at an average of 5 –6 percent annually in the coming decade, making it the growth engine of the world. The newly established Asean Economic Community is likely to enhance growth further.

Sweden’s ambassador to Singapore, Håkan Jevrell

”Southeast Asia continues to show strong growth rates despite the slowdown in the world economy. Simultaneously, the interest for the region is growing, as more and more companies come to realize that Asia represents more than just China and India,” says the ambassador in reply to why the time is ripe for this even now.

”There is also a need to increase knowledge about this region of the Swedish decision-makers, both in politics and business. The purpose of the Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit, which we hope will become a regular event, is to disseminate information on Southeast Asia and the rapid development taking place here as well as a forum for exchange between Swedish and Southeast Asian business representatives who are active in the region. Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit is an initiative run jointly by ’Team Sweden South-East Asia’, which means all the embassies, Business Sweden offices and chambers of commerce in the various countries in the region.”

To be competitive in this evolving global market, it is crucial for any CEO or board member to have a clear understanding of the developments in the region. The Sweden–Southeast Asia Business Summit provides an excellent opportunity to get insights from industry peers and policy experts and to meet with potential partners.

Sharing of best practices on how to do business in this dynamic part of the world will be a key ingredient.

”I meet many business representatives in my role as ambassador and I often hear that one lacks a forum for experience-sharing and cross-sector dialogue between business representatives. They of course, have a lot to learn from each other. Via ’Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit’ Swedish companies will have the opportunity to share their experiences. Alongside a range of inspirational speakers and panels there will be plenty of time for discussion and networking,” replies Håkan Jevrell.

The summit will feature key political and business representatives from Sweden, including Mr Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation; Mrs. Ylva Berg, CEO, Business Sweden – the Swedish Trade and Invest Council; Mr Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Board, SEB, SAAB Group & Foundation Asset Management; Mr. Magnus Böcker, Executive Chairman of Blibros and former CEO of Singapore Exchange and many more.

“We have chosen a broad focus for this first Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit, not least because of the amazing breadth that Swedish companies in the region represents. In Singapore alone there are 250 Swedish companies presents, many with regional headquarters, and ranging from small niche consulting firms to banks and manufacturing companies,” the ambassador says about the summit.

Around 600 Swedish companies across business sectors ranging from service to manufacturing and retail are present in Southeast Asia.

For outreach the ambassador explains that this initiative is run jointly by ‘Team Sweden South-East Asia’, which means all the embassies, Business Sweden offices and chambers of commerce located in region’s various countries in the region.

“We all have an important role to play in reaching out to businesses with presence there and ensure good attendance. We are very pleased with the strong interest we’ve seen by businesses to participate as partners. Our main sponsors are Carl Bennet AB, Ericsson, SAAB, Scania, SEB and Volvo. Singapore Airlines is the official airline of the event. Other sponsors are Alfa Laval, Billerud Korsnäs, IKEA, Nordea, SKF and Spotify.”

Team Sweden is an umbrella made up of public authorities, government agencies and companies that all work to promote Swedish exports abroad. At home, Team Sweden is led by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. Abroad, a local Team Sweden led by the Swedish Ambassador will assist companies around the world.

Through Team Sweden the Swedish Government can provide coordinated and effective export support to Swedish companies that want to set up operations abroad, making entry into the export market clear and simple. The export support includes advisory services, financing, marketing and the long-term promotion of Sweden.

Learn more about the Summit and register your interest today at www.sweden-sea.com.

The inaugural Sweden-Southeast Asia Business summit will take place at Parkroyal on Pickering. Singapore’s highly awarded sustainable hotel, which boasts a unique hotel-in-a-garden concept that seamlessly blends environmental principles with elements of nature throughout the property.

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