MANILA – Swedish companies are keen to trade and invest more in the Philippines, particularly in various infrastructure endeavors, amid the country’s strong economic performance.
Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Harald Fries said many Swedish firms are already engaged in engineering, waste management, urban transportation, and bus system here.
“It’s not that Swedish business is just focusing in one sector in the Philippines, we are (also) looking at infrastructure with the Build, Build, Build program and that’s very interesting for Swedish companies,” he said in an interview with Philippine News Agency Thursday night on the sidelines of the reception on the occasion of the National Day of Sweden.
Fries said some of these companies include the Volvo Group, which is involved in urban transportation, ABB in energy, and Saab in port and airport management and surveillance.
“There are smaller companies that are trying their luck here,” he added.
Apart from infrastructure projects, Fries said there are also small and medium-sized Swedish companies establishing presence in the information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO), and software engineering and software development areas.
“Today, we have the big multinational companies even more than them, but we also have quite a few small- and medium-sized Swedish companies doing business here, which shows also that companies with less resources, less capacity, they have confidence in this market so they are to establish and try to expand here so we have the whole range of Swedish companies,” he added.
The ambassador also underscored the need to increase the trade between the Philippines and Sweden.
“It has increased actually by 65 percent in just two years since we re-opened the Embassy (here). It’s still in my view at too low level so there is still a great potential to increase,” he said.
Fries said Philippine exports to Sweden have increased in the last few years, particularly of vegetable oils.
“I think coconut oil is probably part of that. Also electronics and I see a great potential in food, fruits,” he added. “Another export is BPO, there are companies here having clients in Sweden that outsource services here…” (PNA)