Message from Consul General of Sweden in Hong Kong and Macau
The relationship between Sweden and Hong Kong, where trade and investments are key areas, dates back many years. Today, there are around 1,500 Swedes living in Hong Kong and 160 to 180 Swedish companies present here.
In September, I took up the position of Swedish consul general in Hong Kong. A few days later, the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg, visited. The main purpose was to discuss areas of possible collaboration. During his visit, he inaugurated Business Sweden's expanded trade office in Hong Kong and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) launched direct flights between Stockholm and Hong Kong. There is also a new direct maritime route between the port of Gothenburg and Hong Kong.
The Swedish government recently launched a new strategy for exports. China is one of the priority markets and Swedish interest in the region is evident from frequent visits here. We will have three ministerial visits to Hong Kong until the start of 2016. The next one take places in November when the Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht, will visit with a business delegation. That focus will be on food exports, Scandinavian cuisine and high-quality and ecological products.
These are only a couple of examples of the very close bilateral cooperation between Hong Kong and Sweden. Our relations are not only business related. Every year the numbers of exchange students continue to grow. Last year, there were around 300 students in each direction. One of Sweden's top universities, the Karolinska Institutet, will establish a base for research here in the beginning of 2016 - a possibility for Sweden and Hong Kong to share knowledge within the scientific research area.
Even though Sweden's population is small, with around 9.8 million people, it is ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world by the Global Innovation Index - a position we are proud of. In Sweden you are encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically, which produces an innovative climate. Combined with an innovative business climate, the care for nature and human rights, are core values in Sweden. Sustainability is an essential part of the Swedish business strategy. We hope to strengthen cooperation with Hong Kong on all levels, political, business related, academic, cultural and on a person to person level.
Consul General of Sweden in Hong Kong and Macau