The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Stockholm and Export Marketing Bureau recently organized an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen on 29 September to 6 October 2017.

The mission aimed to familiarize the delegates from the Philippines with the international market, especially in the Scandinavia region. Led by Ms. Rose Marie Castillo, Chief of Food and Agri-Marine Division of EMB, the delegation was comprised of ten (10) Philippine micro, small, and medium-sized (MSME) exporters that are part of the Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) program of EMB. The program helps businesses to become sustainable exporters. In Europe, one of the identified regions with potential market for the country’s food products, especially ethnic, fresh, processed and organic food, is Scandinavia.

The visit to Scandinavia aims to increase exports by approximately $1.3 million. The trade value is expected to grow exponentially, specifically for the Philippines and Norway, which is part of the European Free Trade Area, when the PH-EFTA Free Trade Agreement enters into force in 2018.

 DTI business mission to Scandinavia
In photo: (1st row seated from left to right) – Ms. Jocelyn Blanco, Region V Director; Ms. Mary Borromeo Hedfors, Trade and Investment Promotions Officer of PTIC-Stockholm; Mr. Jan Lundgren, CEO of COOP Trading; Ms. Rose Marie Castillo, EMB Agrimarine Division Chief. (3rd row) - Mr. Poul Verner Jensen (2nd from left) and Mr. Bertram Andersen (3rd from left), Strategic Buyers of COOP; Mr. Juan Paolo Alix, Vice-Consul, Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway (far right).

As the Government of Sweden reopens its embassy in Manila, the Philippines, through its Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) eyes strengthened economic relations with Sweden.

“We have seen Sweden’s interest in the country as we welcome their largest inbound delegation to Manila with over 70 delegates from various Swedish companies,” said Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.

On November 7, DTI welcomed the over twenty-eight (28) Swedish companies with 70 business delegates led by Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Mikael Damberg. The business delegation also coincides with the reopening of the Embassy of Sweden in Manila after it had been closed in 2008.

PH eyes strengthened economic relations with Sweden

“Swedish are known for their quality products and innovative solutions. We look forward in future partnerships with them and heightened trade relations that will generate more jobs for Filipinos,” Terrado added.

Minister Damberg on the other hand mentioned that Sweden’s enhanced business relations with the Philippines is also seen in the recent expansion of IKEA, an international furniture chain store, in the country. 

During the re-opening ceremonies of the Embassy of Sweden on 8 November, DTI Undersecretary Terrado also emphasized the importance of the embassy’ and Ambassador Harald Fries’ presence in Manila in furthering economic relations between Philippines and Sweden. She noted that at present, there are over 40 Swedish companies established in the Philippines.

In a message by Ambassador Harald Fries and Country Manager Carl Mamlmqvist, they mentioned that the reopening of the Embassy of Sweden in Manila is a strong signal of the Swedish government’s commitment to enhanced relations between Sweden and the Philippines. Sweden’s increased interest to the Philippines goes beyond trade and investment deals. Other areas of mutual interest include student exchange, disaster response and tourism.

According to the DTI, Sweden ranked as the Philippines’ 43rd trading partner (out of 223), 59th export market (out of 211), and 36th import supplier (out of 203) in 2015. Total bilateral trade amounted to US$143.40 million.

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