When US firms are considering a strategic separation from the Philippines’ market, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Innovation is leading his businessmen team to Manila to attend an official ceremony organized to celebrate the reopening of the Swedish Embassy in the Philippines. This happens to be the largest ever Swedish trade delegation to Manila.
Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg is eyeing the export market in the Philippines and believes that the meeting with his Philippine counterparts will open up new doors of opportunities for the Swedish industries, and encourage new ventures in the country.
In 2013, Swedish company Sandvik forged a deal with the Filipino construction tools distributor, Inframachineries to exclusively distribute its Mobile Crushers. Since then, in three years, Swedish trade ambitions in the Philippines have grown stronger.
The 70-member Swedish trade delegation is not only the largest but also the first significant diplomatic development in the political circle since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced military and economic parting from the US in October. It was seen as a denting blow to the primarily US-centric economy, heavily dependent on American investments in the island country. Many outsourcing companies and call centers based in Manila fear that the severance would cause serious job cuts and push the country into self-inflicted recession.
In September, the Philippine Stock Exchange witnessed a massive decline after foreign companies pulled out US $58m from the local equities.
The Swedish trade delegation will be in the country to reopen its embassy that was closed in 2008 due to financial constraints. The Philippines is rated as a fertile investment destination, considering the low inflation rates and vibrant manufacturing activity in the country,
With the latest development from Swedish quarters, IKEA and VOLVO could follow the hint and cut up their expansion plans into the Philippines. The Swedish trade delegation is likely to push its defense sector in the Philippines, with Saab Group comes across the major player. It will open its office in Taguig City on November 9, and bids to secure the deal with the Philippine Air Force to sell it’s JAS 39 Gripen fighters.
Meanwhile, the US remains the biggest investor in the Philippines in terms of equity shares. Will Swedish trade delegation pitch in with its own set of Foreign Direct Investments during this visit?
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