Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia and Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder (Photo: Philippine Embassy, Oslo, Norway)
25 April 2019, Stockholm – Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia of the Philippine Embassy in Oslo met on 25 April 2019 with State Secretary Annika Söder of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Batoon-Garcia and State Secretary Söder observed that relations between the Philippines and Sweden are in an upswing. The Swedish Parliament or Riksdag approved on 11 April 2019 the Philippines-Sweden Social Security Agreement, stating that the agreement contains provisions that coordinate the legislation of both countries regarding old-age, survivors' and disability pensions, and work injury, sickness and activity compensation. The Agreement will benefit citizens of both countries in terms of securing their respective long-term and pension benefits, and avoiding social security contributions being paid in both countries. Both the Philippines and Sweden have now ratified the Agreement, paving the way for its entry into force and the elaboration of its implementing rules and guidelines.
People-to-people exchanges between the two countries have been increasing. A number of Filipinos have been migrating and/or working in Sweden, while a number of Swedish companies have been establishing and/or increasing their presence in the Philippines. The Philippines welcomes the announcement made last week by the Swedish Ambassador in Manila that Swedish businesses are keen on hiring software engineers and health care workers from the Philippines in view of the current shortage of such professionals in Sweden.
The Philippines’ continuing high economic growth rates, excellent workforce, large infrastructure projects and big consumer base have helped in enhancing the economic ties between the Philippines and Sweden. Ambassador Batoon-Garcia and State Secretary Söder discussed areas to further increase and widen the trade and investment flows between the two countries.
Ambassador Batoon-Garcia is the Philippine Ambassador to Norway, as well as to Iceland, Finland and Sweden. END.