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Sweden seeks stronger ties with Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — The embassy of Sweden in Manila held its Swedish National Day celebration on June 6 with a focus on enhancing bilateral ties with the Philippines in key areas including defense and security, industrial development, innovation and health care.

“The Philippines is a strategic partner for Sweden, because of its economic growth prospects and its commitment to the rule of law. We support the Philippine Development Plan with the vision to improve the country’s economy and provide jobs to Filipinos,” Swedish Ambassador Annika Thunborg said on Thursday.

Sweden is recognized as a global leader in innovation. Since 2016, when the embassy reopened, Team Sweden – comprised of its embassy, trade and investment council and the private sector – has been actively collaborating with the Philippines in innovation and development.

Areas of focus include transportation, energy, retail and the circular economy with companies such as Atlas Copco, H&M, Lynk electric cars, PTC & Wallenius shipping, Volvo Buses, ABB, Nasdaq, BDO and Transcom. This is possible through the “quadruple helix model” which involves collaboration with the Philippine government, Swedish and Filipino private sector, international development institutions and other communities such as academe and civil society.

Team Sweden is keen to continue these collaborations, especially in security and defense, sustainable and responsible mining and health care with companies such as Saab, Volvo Trucks and Construction Equipment, Sandvik, Ericsson Telecommunications and AstraZeneca.

“Sweden is committed to building a long-term and sustainable relationship with the Philippines. This is attested by the visits of our Minister of Trade Johan Forssell last year, the visit of State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Jan Knutsson and leading Swedish industrialist and banker Marcus Wallenberg earlier this year and now with the Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson,” Thunborg said.

At the event, representatives of the Swedish government highlighted the need to address common challenges such as climate, economic security and geopolitical tensions. Moreover, in an increasingly polarized world, it is crucial for states to