A summer meeting with H.E. Ambassador of Sweden Per Holmström in the lovely garden of the Swedish Residence

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A beautiful summer day in July Kerstin and Johanna had a chat with the Swedish Ambassador Per Holmström in his lovely garden about Swedish Chamber adding value to the Swedish Brand name, Trade relations Sweden – the Netherlands, Team Sweden and Young Professionals YP10NL!

In what way does the Swedish Chamber of Commerce add value to the assignment of the Swedish Embassy in the Netherlands?

We are both part of team Sweden and there is a good reason for that. The Swedish Embassy has a broad task to support and promote trade between the two countries, especially Swedish export and investments in the Netherlands. The Swedish Embassy has well established contacts with official representatives and together with the business network of the Swedish Chamber which is mostly in the private sector, we are able to reach our goal of covering the entire market.

How is the Swedish Chamber of Commerce contributing to increase the trade relations between Sweden and the Netherlands?
The market itself is mature and it is sometimes hard to reach smaller players that potentially could reach the Dutch market only through government official channels. Therefore, the Swedish Chamber plays an important role with their solid and well-developed network for newly established Swedish companies to become a member and to build their relations and network in their new country. The events and promotional activities of the Swedish Chamber might not show in the statistics straight away but are equally as important as any other work we do to promote the relations because it helps build a long-term and sustainable business society for Swedish and Dutch companies.

How is the Swedish Chamber succeeding in enhancing Brand name Sweden in your opinion and how can we improve even more?

By offering events and conferences that touch upon sustainability, equality and gender issues, the Swedish Chamber help promote core values that Sweden stands for. The Chamber has hosted several events during the last couple of years that raises these questions and gives a forum for the member companies to elaborate on their thoughts on the subject. A good example is #NordicTalks the annual Nordic event that this year promotes the UN Sustainability Goals. That is a very important topic for Sweden and it relates to many of our values. The Swedish Chamber has also done a great job working with social media and promoting other government officials and public opinion makers who support those values. I see this as a great possibility for more collaboration in the future, working side by side with the Swedish Chamber in our social media presence to promote Sweden.

The Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber are turning 10 years as a network. How important is such a network in your opinion and why is it important to give them our fully support?

It is extremely important to offer a forum for our young talents that are pursuing an international career or studying abroad here in the Netherlands. The Chamber does a great job offering activities and special events that are directed towards the interests and needs of the Young Professionals, which are not necessarily always the same as for the member of the Chamber. It is in that age and place in life that one needs support and encouragement to be able to build a good professional network that can be useful throughout the career.

What is your advice to the Young Professionals?

My advice for all Young Professionals is to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid of failures or making wrong decisions. Mistakes create experience. Network… and have fun!

The Ambassador would like to congratulate the Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber with their 10th anniversary and is looking forward to the celebrations on September 22!