Stockholm, 1 September 2017 – Excitement around the possibilities for Swedish businesses to profit from the rapidly developing region of Southeast Asia was palpable during a business and investment forum titled “Bridge to ASEAN” jointly organized by the ASEAN embassies and representations in the Swedish capital Stockholm and Business Sweden. The Philippine Embassy in Oslo, together with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Stockholm, participated in the forum.
Attended by more than 50 Swedish business participants, the forum highlighted the rise of the ASEAN region as the seventh largest economy in the world, buoyed by its growing middle class and skyrocketing demands in the areas of infrastructure and manufacturing. The region is home to more than 600 million people whose rapidly changing lifestyles underpin the increasing consumption of goods and services. Such trends, as well as
the ASEAN’s efforts to realize the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), present opportunities for Swedish businesses to capitalize on their knowhow and innovation, particularly in the areas of sustainable transport and ICT infrastructure and solutions; clean technologies, particularly in the power, energy and water sectors; logistics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, as well as in education. In doing so, business were advised to well understand the business ecosystems in the southeast Asian countries, show commitment, and leverage technologies, partnerships, incentives and local talent in order to gain a good foothold. The forum included a ceremonial cake-cutting to mark ASEAN’s 50 years and a congenial networking event where participants had an opportunity to interact with each other, the resource panelists and the ASEAN member countries’ ambassadors and representatives in Stockholm.