The newly-established Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Qatar (SCCQ) is aiming to play a role in increasing import and export figures between Qatar and Sweden, a chamber official has said.
Citing figures from the National Board Trade of Sweden, SCCQ board member Mattias Nordfeldt said Sweden’s exports to Qatar jumped 32% to reach 1.96bn Swedish Krona (SEK- equivalent of $219mn) in 2017 compared to 1.48bn SEK ($166mn) in 2016.
Nordfeldt noted that the Swedish chamber will support efforts to increase Qatar-Sweden bilateral trade volume by connecting Swedish businesses with decision makers in Qatar, “both from the public and private sectors, and vice versa.”
“The chamber will work in close collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Qatar in these tasks, starting with a large networking event later this fall,” Nordfeldt told Gulf Times.
He added: “As for the timeline for the chamber’s objectives, these are all ongoing objectives, which will be the guiding hallmarks for the chamber’s continued work in the years to come. For example, ‘to increase bilateral trade’ is something that can always be done, and can never be truly finished.”
According to Nordfeldt, the Swedish chamber will also work to increase public awareness of Sweden in Qatar, including Qatari business opportunities in Sweden, which, he noted, “will lead to increased numbers of Swedish companies coming to Qatar, and should also increase Qatari demand for Swedish products.”
“The chamber will serve as a meeting point for the private sectors of Sweden and Qatar, arranging and participating in networking events, and linking Swedish businesses with local partners. It will also serve as an important focus point for Qatari investors who would like to make connections in Sweden,” Nordfeldt emphasised.
Nordfeldt pointed out that Swedish investments and companies represented in the Swedish chamber towards Qatar’s future development “have largely taken the form of knowledge sharing and being trusted trading partners to some of Qatar’s most important businesses.”
As an example, Nordfeldt said that for over 30 years, Swedish mining company LKAB has been providing over 40% of all iron ore used by Qatar Steel. Both Qatar Steel and LKAB have expressed interest in expanding this partnership into other areas and product categories, according to Nordfeldt.
“Another area is Sweden’s continuing collaboration with Qatar in the area of road safety, where the private sector, universities, and government have been heavily involved. Swedish company Sensys Gatso Group has been highly-active in the Qatari market.
“Recently, a memorandum of understanding was signed between VTI - the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute - and Qatar University about further knowledge sharing in this area, directly contributing to Qatar National Vision 2030,” he said.