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Sweden explores dev’t cooperation with Phl for green transition and growth agenda

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Key officials from the Swedish and Philippine governments jointly held a workshop on December 13, 2023 to explore potential opportunities for cooperation in financing key infrastructure and development projects in the Philippines to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations.

The Philippine government side was led by the Department of Finance (DOF) while the Swedish government was represented by the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN), and the Swedish Development Finance Institution (Swedfund).

Areas of cooperation include project preparatory and feasibility studies financed by Swedfund and the funding of sustainable infrastructure projects utilizing Swedish export credit facilities from SEK and EKN.

From left, Department of Finance Finance Undersecretary Maria Edita Z. Tan and Ambassador Annika Thunborg at the joint workshop.

“The upcoming finalization and conclusion of the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] between the Philippines and Sweden only attests to the Swedish government’s continued support for the country in the field of sustainable investment and resilient socioeconomic development,” said Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno.

DOF Undersecretary Maria Edita Z. Tan likewise expressed optimism on the proposed bilateral agreement, highlighting that the finalization of the MOU between the two nations is key for the realization of proposed priority projects in the Philippines being eyed for preparation and financing by Swedish export credits, including possible provision of grant financing by Swedfund and other opportunities for cooperation utilizing Sweden expertise, experience, technology, and comparative advantages.

The workshop allowed government representatives from both sides to review priority areas of development in the Philippines, including public and regional transportation, renewable energy, energy transmission, and circular solutions for water and waste.

“Through this workshop with the DOF, we trust the Philippines and Sweden will establish a good cooperation, which will support the financing of Philippine infrastructure,” said SEK Senior Director of International Finance Birgitta Lindstrom Kruk.

“We believe that the workshop was a good opportunity for Team Sweden to further showcase Swedish financial facilities and find the best areas of synergy with the Philippines,” said EKN Deputy Director for Large Corporates Kjell Forsberg.

The Philippines has previously received cooperation funding through Swedfund wherein Sweco, Europe’s leading engineering and architecture consultancy, was selected to support the feasibility study and provide technical assistance that led to the development of the EDSA Busway.

“Swedfund has been engaged in the Philippines since 2018 supporting the government in developing public transportation in Manila. We hope that the workshop will lead to even closer collaboration and that Team Sweden can be a part of realizing the Philippines’ important green transition and growth agenda,” said Swedfund Manager Anna Älgevik.

On the Philippine side, the workshop was attended by representatives from the Office of the President (OP), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

SEK, EKN, Swedfund, BusinessSweden, and the Embassy of Sweden in Manila represented Team Sweden, which is comprised of the Swedish entities mentioned and Swedish companies.

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