Life-style Inquirer: Particular connection from Swedish and Finnish ambassadors to the Philippines



Harald Fries, Ambassador of Sweden to the Philippines

The ambassadors from Sweden and Finland each share a standard love for the Philippines, however for various causes. From the twelfth in a sequence, Life-style Inquirer Journal highlights the varied ties that ambassadors have with the Philippines.

Harald Fries, Ambassador of Sweden to the Philippines

Harald Fries, Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines is not any stranger to the nation and he first visited the Philippines in 1985 along with his then-girlfriend, later spouse, Susan Batungbacal. The couple met in Stockholm the place they each labored for Swedish telecommunications firm Ericsson and have since traveled to the Philippines yearly. Harald Fries’ first diplomatic posting was in Manila from 1991 to 1995 and he instructed Life-style Inquirer, “You’ll be able to think about how thrilled my spouse and I have been after I was supplied my second project within the Philippines. A dream come true,”.

The Ambassador’s major activity upon arriving within the Philippines this time was to reopen the Swedish Embassy in Manila which had been closed since 2008 and to advertise commerce and funding exchanges between Sweden and the Philippines. Since then, Harald Fries reviews that commerce has grown considerably and the Embassy is eagerly awaiting the opening of Sweden’s first Ikea retailer within the Philippines later this yr, which would be the largest Ikea retailer on this planet. The Philippines additionally reopened their embassy in Stockholm this yr and in keeping with Harald Fries, “is a really welcome improvement. With embassies firmly in place in one another’s capitals, we are able to do way more to additional strengthen the connection between our two nations.

Juha Pyykkö, Ambassador to Finland within the Philippines

In September final yr, Finland additionally reopened its embassy in Manila and Ambassador Juha Pyykkö feels fortunate to be the primary Finnish Ambassador there because it opened. The Ambassador arrived in Manila in November as a newcomer to Asia with earlier assignments together with Bangkok, Canberra and New Deli. This yr, he can be joined by his household, together with his spouse Riitta Laakso and their sons Emil and Pepe. Ester their eldest will proceed her research in London. Previous to coming to Manila, Juha Pyykkö served as envoy to Athens, protecting each Greece and Albania.

For Life-style Inquirer, the ambassador shares that the story of Armi Kuusela and Gil Hilario continues to be well-known in Finland, referring to the 1952 Miss Universe who married a Filipino. The Ambassador’s late father attended the identical faculty because the Finnish magnificence queen within the Forties, and the tales from that point are nonetheless recent on her thoughts. “It is like I am persevering with the Finno-Filipino story I heard from my father in my childhood,” says Juha Pyykkö.

Based on the ambassador, there are three major causes for Finland to reestablish its official presence within the Philippines, together with untapped enterprise alternatives, strengthened consular and immigration companies and an evaluation of overseas and safety coverage on this geopolitical area and necessary and attention-grabbing geo-economic. . Because of the pandemic, Juha Pyykkö hasn’t been in a position to discover the Philippines as a lot, however he tells Life-style Inquirer that it was rewarding to expertise the pre-Christmas season in Manila.

Juha Pyykkö, Ambassador of Finland to the Philippines.



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