Minister Damberg: Singapore summit a starting point for increased presence

After the inaugural Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit’s first day of sessions, Mrs Ylva Berg, CEO of Business Sweden and Mr Mikael Damberg, Sweden’s Minister of Enterprise & Innovation hosted the event’s Gala Dinner, where also Mr Fredrik Härén inspired the participants with his very spot-on analysis of Swedes and creativity.

The dinner, held on 21 September, began with pre-dinner Champagne served at the outdoor terrace before sitting down in the ballroom of Parkroyal on Pickering hotel where both Ylva Berg och Minister Mikael Damberg shared their respective first assessments of the summit.


The minister concluded that Southeast Asia offers huge opportunities and that it is also about creating better lives for people living in this region.

“And I am totally convinced, after hearing of the advances, of investment, of creating the smart cities and nations in this region, that there are huge possibilities to work together, both on finding new partnerships but also finding new business opportunities.”

“I think we can do good at the same time as we create better opportunities for people. That’s why I find that this meeting is so important and fruitful. It is the first time we have this kind of meeting in this region. It is also the starting point. This is actually the first phase of an intense period of time when Sweden will have a lot of efforts into this region. I know there will be lots of MoUs and letter of intents signed this year with Southeast Asian states: energy, transport within Indonesia; followed by life sciences with Vietnam.”

“The export strategy puts an emphasis on emerging markets. We have to be stronger where the growth rate exists and where exciting things happen. And I see that Sweden now puts an extra effort on being here, seeing it and also understanding what needs to be done and I hope that this conference is a starting point. I know that several of my colleagues in the government will travel to this region in near time,” Mikael Damberg continued and mentioned upcoming delegations, with Ann Linde Minister for European Union Affairs and Trade, to head a Business Sweden delegation to Indonesia and Vietnam, followed by Damberg himself to inaugurate Sweden’s new embassy in Manila later in the year. Per Bolund, Deputy Minister for Finance, will visit Singapore as sell.


“This is altogether a strategic choice for Sweden, to be more present here, to actually work with long-term relations, to build confidence for the future. I hope that you have found new partners and new associates during these meetings,” said the minister as he concluded the first day’s summit with a Swedish toast.

“I am privileged to be here and I am so glad that all of you have attended this great business forum and that hopefully you will meet again in the days to come. Skål!”


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