Mr Staffan Herrström (right), Swedish ambassador in Thailand
(Photo by Ms Karin Herrström)
Today I had the great pleasure of meeting the Swedish ambassador Mr Staffan Herrström at his office in Bangkok.
Large Geographical Area
The Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok covers a large area, being not only responsible for the Swedish connections to Thailand but also Lao PDR, Myanmar and Philippines, although Philippines is about to get its own representation from Sweden.
New to the Assignment but not to the Tasks
Staffan Herrström began his assignment as ambassador in Thailand in the beginning of September 2015.
In my opinion he quickly put a personal touch to his work, among other things by publishing monthly letters on the embassy’s webpage. These monthly letters are well written and an enjoyable reading about his work as an ambassador and the Swedish achievements in the region.
As a Swedish resident in Thailand I don’t want to miss out on this monthly reading 🙂
- Example (in Swedish) Monthly letter for April
I presented my view on the development of The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in general and the conditions for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in particular.
Staffan Herrström represents Sweden in four of the ten member states of ASEAN and is understandably engaged in the ASEAN development, as well as AEC. He pointed me in interesting directions for further contacts, something I definitely will follow up during the summer.
BAS Chart of Accounts
I presented the in my opinion unique Swedish concept with a de facto standardized chart of accounts, and the possibilities of exporting the concept to other countries and regions. Staffan Herrström showed great interest, although not being an economist.
Instead he widened the perspective and asked me how big the trade barriers can be for SME when crossing state borders.
I expressed my opinion that these trade barriers are huge for SME, since they don’t have their own internal resources to deal with different regulations in different countries but have to buy consultancy help in each case. This is a big difference compared to large and listed companies, which often have a lot of internal competence and also resources to pay for assistance when needed.
ASEAN CSR Network
We also talked about issues common with The ASEAN CSR Network. Staffan Herrström recently met Mr Thomas Thomas, whom I met in Singapore in early February (Meeting ASEAN CSR Network).
Another topic was the Swedish governments newly launched “Ten measures against tax evasion” (In Swedish: Regeringens 10 åtgärder för att motverka skatteflykt), which among other things involves capacity building in our neighbor country and ASEAN member state Cambodia with the assistance of The Swedish Tax Authority.
Staffan Herrström is of course a very busy person, so I was happy that he could and wanted to spare the time to meet me.
We had good discussions and after the meeting I went to the nearby Landmark Hotel. There I had, for once, a luxury second breakfast feeling that life is good 🙂
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