Sweden hopes to promote trade, innovation and sustainability in the Philippines, and the Swedish Embassy in the country explained these and other programmes lined up in an interview with Envoys & Expats recently.
Ahead of Sweden’s National Day festivities on June 6 as well as the 75th year of its bilateral ties with the Philippines, ENVOYS&EXPATS recently caught up with Ambassador Annika Thunborg to better appreciate her country’s multifaceted work at the local front.
Thunborg said: “Trade promotion is a priority area for our embassy. I am pleased to see policies and reforms put in place by the Philippine government over the last several years that have made it easier to do business here and, most important, that have moved more people out of poverty and into the middle class, thus contributing to economic growth and improved quality of life.
“We hope this reform policy will continue and be strengthened under the new government, which has made it attractive for Swedish companies such as IKEA and H&M to invest in this country, for manufacturing companies such as Swedish Match or OSM Group to expand or arrive here, respectively; and for client-services companies such as Transcom International to acquire and expand.
“Swedish companies offer direct employment to more than 17,000 Filipinos, with Transcom being the biggest of them, employing almost 10,000 in Metro Manila, Davao City, Bacolod City, and Iloilo City.
“In light of the global crises we face: the pandemic, the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the climate crisis, it is important to build back better, greener and more inclusively, and to build resiliently and sustainably for future generations.”
Speaking about which sectors in this country Sweden would focus on for its local work, the Ambassador said: “Sweden has much to offer in the areas of smart transportation and smart energy solutions with world leading companies such as Volvo, Scania, digitalization giant Ericsson and Swedish-Swiss ABB, as well as many small and medium enterprises. It has been particularly rewarding to work with the Department of Transportation in the development of the Edsa Busway, and we look forward to working with more cities interested in developing their public-transportation systems such as Davao City.
We hope more medium-sized and small Swedish companies will find the local market attractive, especially those that can offer sustainable solutions in the area of renewable energy. The Philippines has notable potential in this area—let’s turn natural calamities into positive energy-generators for the welfare and benefit of its population!
Swedish firms rank high on innovation and sustainability: two priority areas of the embassy. For us, sustainability includes environmental, social, and economic sides: the commitment to a clean and green environment through circular economy solutions, good labor conditions, gender equality, capacity-building opportunities for all employees, sound economic practices, and freedom from corruption. For us, this is ‘corporate social sustainability,’ which is key to doing good business.”
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Source: Business Mirror