On 30 April, Walpurgis Eve, Swedes welcome spring by lighting huge bonfires and celebrate the end of a long and dreary winter by singing spring songs. These songs spread by students' spring festivities and Walpurgis Night celebrations are especially festive in university towns, such as Lund and Uppsala.
Believe it or not, we are already well into Q2 of 2022. On Friday this week, we will have our first SwedCham Board Meeting face to face since March 2020, which indeed feels like a real 'moment' - a Singapore spring moment. We hope you will join us as we start building up our calendar with more in-person events. For example, a great networking opportunity will take place on 9 May, as we host an event together with DBS for 50 people max on how to transition into a low carbon economy. We hope we will see many of you there.
Please find below the latest news from our business community.
Your dedicated SwedCham team,
Lisa & Anna
Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/imagebank.sweden.se
|Hello Horst Wasel - SwedCham's new President|
Congratulations, Horst Wasel, on becoming SwedCham’s new President! In order for our Members to get to know you better, we have a few questions... What are your top three priorities in this role for 2022?
Horst: First of all, I would like to thank you for your support. I have been on SwedCham's board since 2017, and I am excited about now taking on the role of President. To your question, over the past years, we have developed a very solid long term strategy for SwedCham Singapore. We should seek to improve the execution process as well as find even better ways to support our Members and network. This involves strengthening the focus on growing SwedCham through solid qualitative activities and events. Key themes include:
- In line with the digital hub approach of Singapore, we need to increase the awareness for further growth in digital security, 5G and digital ecosystems
- Singapore's Green Plan 2030 will provide great business opportunities for Swedish companies. SwedCham will continue to focus on sustainability where most of our Members have a strong card to play
- We want to support all our Members through these post-pandemic times. Areas of focus will include how to make a safe return to the office as well as how to assure the wellbeing of our employees.
You have been part of SwedCham’s board for a few years now. From your perspective, how has SwedCham’s mission evolved over the years, and what should be the focus for the coming 2-3 years?
Horst: During the time I have been a Board Member, we have seen a fantastic development of SwedCham. People on our board, in our workgroups and within our network have made all the difference. Believe it our not - we have a stronger organisation today than before the pandemic. The increase in high quality initiatives through knowledge building events, such as our country- and industry specific Market Outlooks as well as our local outreach initiatives, have played a part in this development. We have learnt a lot and adjusted accordingly along the way. I feel that it is the extensive collaboration, not only within our network but also with external stakeholders, that have made this happen. The focus over the next 2-3 years will continue to be related to building sustainability and supporting the digitalisation process in Singapore, as well as making sure that we attract highly talented people within our member companies to join us in our efforts to make Swedish businesses not only attractive as employers but also valuable to Singapore in order to build a prosperous future on the island.
Is the Swedish business community important to Singapore? If so, why?
Horst: We are definitely adding value to Singapore and its people. Swedish companies have a strong focus on customer value, product- and service quality as well as ethics. All of these key elements are highly appreciated and endorsed by the Singapore business community and the Singapore Government.
SwedCham has got quite a few new members during the pandemic. What would be your advice to these companies in order to leverage their membership in the best way possible?
Horst: It is great to see new Members coming on board and I believe that SwedCham can provide each one of them - from large MNCs to start-ups - with very solid and high quality support to grow their businesses. Peer-to-peer support between member companies, such as sharing best practice and experiences, is another important area where SwedCham provides a great platform through its network building activities. We should also not forget that, together with the Embassy of Sweden and Business Sweden, we have a strong Team Sweden to support the Swedish business community. Therefore, my #1 advice for new Members would be to start building a network by interacting with both the SwedCham team as well as existing SwedCham Members. Our knowledge building events, networking opportunities and local outreach initiatives are all excellent opportunities to get started.
|How do we transition into a low carbon economy?|
As Singapore is opening up for more in-person activities, here is a great opportunity to get back into a networking environment with the SwedCham business community: On Monday 9 May, SwedCham's Silver Sponsor DBS will line up the their key experts to discuss with us how the roadmap towards a low carbon economy is likely to look, and what enablers are currently available in Southeast Asia to start the process. During this session, we will hear both from Mikkel Larsen, CEO of Climate Impact X (CIX), a global marketplace and exchange for high-quality carbon credits, and Yulanda Chung, Head of Sustainability for DBS Institutional Banking Group. Register for this event here. Exclusively for SwedCham Members. Limited to 50 pax.
|What is the metaverse, really?|
|#candidongender: Time to celebrate!|
On 31 March, we had 35 companies and 50 people joining us at Huone to celebrate SwedCham's #candidongender initiative and #doubleup on paternity leave pledge which has now attracted 28 companies to join (see below). Not only did we have the chance to celebrate everybody's great contribution to the book 100 Perspectives on Gender Equality in Singapore, we also had a very #candid and open discussion on how important it is for businesses, NGOs and individuals in Singapore to come together to advance the agenda for gender equality as a joint effort. Speakers included Sweden's Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Kent Härstedt, Carolina Rodriguez, Head of SwedCham's Sustainability Committee, as well as the following panelists:
Have you seen us in the news? Since our December launch, the #candid initiative has been featured over 20 times in news channels in Singapore and abroad. Here are a few notable examples:
|28 companies onboard the #doubleup pledge!|
From the pledge:
"Businesses have the choice to intentionally build a corporate culture that does not simply tolerate, but encourages fathers to be there for their baby. ... By promoting paternity leave, we can create a ripple effect towards equality. A truly equal workplace will ultimately level the playing field for both men and women, at home and at work."
JOIN THE #DOUBLEUP PLEDGE HERE
We are delighted to yet again be able to host SwedCham's CEO Luncheons - a signature event exclusively for our Main Partners and Partners. This year, we will accommodate 30 leaders over three days in May at Flutes Restaurant at the National Museum of Singapore.
|Singapore-Nordic Health 4.0: The Amplified Nurse|
Singapore is home to one of the most advanced healthcare markets in the world, offering great business opportunities for Swedish life science companies. Hence, Business Sweden, together with Business Finland and Innovation Norway, is launching the SINGAPORE-NORDIC HEALTH 4.0 program to support Nordic companies interested in exploring opportunities within Singapore's healthcare industry by connecting directly with key stakeholders within Singapore's hospital ecosystem. Register here for a free info webinar to find out more about this program and how to join.
|CHANGE OF DATE: Back to Midwinter Ball!|
|Spring Golf Event|
|with the Danish Business Association|
|May 5, 2022|
(8 AM - 2 PM) (GMT+8)
|Laguna National Golf Resort Club|