The newly launched SwedCham held a Meet and Greet mingle on Thursday 7 September 2017 to officially introduce its members and everyone with an interest to the chamber.
The small gallery at Art Blue Studio quickly filled up as the clock turn 6 pm. In the door General Manager Cecilia Oskarsson and President Jan Stjernström welcomed people as they arrived and the noise level gradually rose as people showed up.
At the event both Jan Stjernström, Cecilia Oskarsson, and Swedish Ambassador to Singapore Håkan Jevrell spoke, but before the speeches started, everyone was asked to help themselves to a glass of wine, an announcement received with great amusement by the attendance.
Building a stronger chamber
President Stjernström started of the introduction to SwedCham by explaining how the chamber now will become a member of the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC, which means greater involvement in international trade agreements. This generates a lot of change, but also a lot of growth, the President said, and the plan is to make it more relevant to all kinds of members, from small to big companies.
The Ambassador Håkan Jevrell expressed his excitement about the new chamber and proclaiming the intention of making it a strong one: “We do not always talk about how great we are, but the truth is Swedish companies are doing really well here in Singapore,” the ambassador said, urging a higher level of “Swedishness” in Singapore.
Lastly, “the one who runs the show,” general manager Oskarsson talked more about the chamber’s concrete changes and future goals: “We are building on the foundation of what the SBAS was and we are going to make it even better and even stronger with the new chamber.” Besides a new name, logo, and a new website, the chamber is now located in the same building as Business Sweden and the Swedish Embassy.
The chamber should be a platform to thrive networking opportunities and the general manager urged the members to engage further to advance the events and programs in collaboration with the board and herself: “We want to work for you, but also with you.” Oskarsson ended her speech announcing that anyone who signed up as a member at the event would get the rest of the year free of charge.
Great networking opportunities
As the official words wrapped up, the noise level in the gallery rapidly increased. Handshakes among the many people emerged, and business cards switched hands, pockets and purses throughout the crowd.
The general opinion of the presentation of the new chamber was positive, where several mentioned it being informative, to the point, and a great networking opportunity.
One of the event’s participants Max Wisten, a senior electronics engineer at the Singaporean startup company Transcelestial Technologies, thought it was a good opportunity to meet other Swedish people and companies in Singapore. In addition, he considered it a great place to represent a company, looking into the possibility of future collaborative networking.
Both the president and the general manager were happy about the turnout and the evening’s outcome, calling it a successful event. A good handful signed up as members of SwedCham at the event, Cecilia Oskarsson confirmed.