Swedish companies are planning to invest or expand businesses in the Philippines in areas like business process outsourcing (BPO), healthcare and retail. Sweden’s ambassador to the Philippines Harald Fries said these companies are attracted to the country’s strong economic growth and a large pool of young, educated workers who speak English. The envoy said that aside from bigger companies, including those that plan to invest in Philippines BPO and provide thousands of job opportunities, small companies are also coming in and hoping to expand.
Fries said that Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, plans to open several stores in the Philippines in the next six to eight years. If the investment pushes through, he said it will create thousands of jobs and have a positive impact on local employment and the economy.
Swedish companies that invest in the healthcare sector may also hire more Filipino healthcare professionals.
Fries explained that businesses look at factors like rule of law, good judicial system, and absence of corruption and red tape when they establish market. He hopes for more balanced growth in the Philippines, with different regions having more opportunities to develop socially and economically.
He stressed that trade between Sweden and the Philippines is “much too small,” and the Swedish government sees a huge potential for increased investments. Information technology, business, electronics, agricultural products, clothing and shoes are some Philippine exports that may have potential in the Swedish market.