As the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is celebrating its 30 years anniversary its General Manger Mrs. Eva Karlberg tells more about celebrations, reflects on the story so far, portrays the Hong Kong business scene as well as looks ahead and outlines the Chamber’s member strategy for the future.
On SwedCham Hong Kong celebrating 30:
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong was incorporated on 27 November 1986 by 44 founding member companies. We have now grown to include almost 180 member companies, 40 individual members and around 100 Young Professional members.
We will celebrate in style on 19 November with “Casino Royale”, a black-tie Grand Gala Dinner, with a James Bond theme. We hope that many members and their guests will attend the gala, which will be held at Studio City in Macau. The 2 Michelin-star chef Björn Frantzen from Sweden will serve an exclusive 5 course dinner, and Oskar Johansson, Mixologist also from Sweden will mix the drinks during the evening.
Måns Zelmerlöw and his band will perform during the evening, and all guests are invited to continue to party at the Pacha Nightclub afterwards.
On looking back:
We will and have already looked back as part of highlighting our anniversary. We have a specially designed 30-year anniversary logo, produced by one of our member companies, and a very special anniversary Membership Directory in blue and gold. In that book we have highlighted moments with photos from the 30 years.
In Dragon News during the year we have presented some of the founding members. In issue 3, which has just arrived from the printer, we highlight Arne Dimblad, the first general manager of SwedCham HK and also Michael Rasborn from Swedish Trading, one of the founding member companies.
14 of the 44 founding members are still active in the Chamber and in Hong Kong. During the gala evening we will ask founding members who are present, to share some memorable Chamber moments with the participants.
SwedCham Annual Award and winner Sverigeshoppen:
The SwedCham HK Annual Award recognizes an outstanding company or person for their unique contributions to business between Hong Kong and Sweden.
The SwedCham HK Annual Award in 2016 went to SverigeShoppen for putting Sweden on the map by bringing Swedish products, culture and traditions to Hong Kong. There’s only one rule when nominating: The person or company need to exemplify the objectives of the Chamber: “To promote, study, extend, advance and protect business relations, investments and interests of Swedish and other organization in Hong Kong.”
SverigeShoppen means a lot when it comes to promoting Sweden and Swedish food culture in Hong Kong. They help introducing new food and beverage brands from Sweden to Hong Kong, has a retail and an online shop as well as wholesale to restaurants, hotels and department store chains.
How SwedCham Hong Kong is adapting to the changing global landscape for corporations and the potential to get start-ups etc. as new members:
As a chamber it is very important to adapt to the changes in companies setting up in Hong Kong. We have to mirror the membership and its needs. As mentioned there are many entrepreneurs and start-ups coming out in various business sectors. We try to cater for them through Creative Swedes, a platform within the chamber. But we can do much more, and plans are on its way to attract and reach out to the companies within sectors like e-commerce for instance, by being more active not only within various platforms in Hong Kong but also in Shenzhen.
At the same time we very much appreciate to have all the large traditional Swedish companies in our chamber, and it is very important that we maintain as an attractive chamber for them.
We want to be a dynamic, professional, active and modern chamber always ready to adapt to changes – but not forget to deliver high quality.
On collaboration with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China:
We have a very close and regular collaboration with our sister chamber in China, and amongst others we produce the quarterly magazine Dragon News together. It can be read online at Issuu or as a printed version. Please contact us if you like to be added to the distribution list!
On Hong Kong foreign investment incentives and selling points: Hong Kong serves as a gateway TO China and beyond as well as FROM China. More and more companies are setting up here with production in China and at the same time want to sell their products in China and the region.
From our last Business Confidence Survey we know that around 65% of our member companies have regional responsibility. The Asia region can easily be covered due to the excellent geographic location of HK and with one of the best airports in the world. There are many additional selling points such as the legal framework, infrastructure and communications, public security and safety etc.
On the Swedish and Scandinavian design in Hong Kong:
Yes, this sector is growing, not least after the Business of Design Week here in Hong Kong with Sweden as a partner country in December 2014. It was a very successful event, which has created circles, and Creative Swedes were founded during that period.