Dear Members and Friends of SwedCham,
When I made the decision to start my own business eleven years ago, I knew immediately who I should talk to about getting connected to potential future clients and business partners. Like countless other people over the years, I made an appointment with the person who sits right at the hub of the Swedish business community in Hong Kong: Eva Karlberg.
Eva greeted me with excitement, and immediately hooked me up with several other people who had recently set up firms. These entrepreneurs were able to give me just the advice I needed to get off the ground, and a couple of them even ended up becoming my clients. It was crystal clear right from the start that SwedCham was an organization that delivers member value. Likewise, there could be no doubt that Eva cared deeply for the chamber and that she was passionate about supporting Swedish business interests in Hong Kong.
Since being elected SwedCham chairman in 2017, I have had the great privilege of working very closely with Eva. Frankly, she has made the job of the chairman and the rest of the board of directors easy. Like other great leaders, she plans ahead and prepares for different contingencies. Moreover, Eva thinks and acts like a true entrepreneur. She possesses a strong will, which – combined with a significant portion of personal charm – has opened up countless doors for SwedCham and its members.
More than that, however, Eva understands that most people do their best work in an encouraging and fun environment. SwedCham contains a lot of smiles and laughter. For an organization that relies to a significant extent on contributions from committee members, directors, and sponsors, who volunteer their time and money, this is absolutely crucial.
As one of those many volunteers, I can honestly say that the time spent on SwedCham has always been rewarding. Under Eva’s leadership, the chamber has become known for professional excellence in its different endeavors: an outstanding networking platform, an insightful lobbying organization, and an organizer of top class events, regardless whether it is a breakfast briefing on a current business issue or a royal gala dinner!
As she steps down as General Manager on September 30 after 22 years (!) on the job, Eva hands over a chamber that is set up to thrive for many years still to come. Despite the turbulence we have lived through in Hong Kong in recent times, SwedCham has found new ways of engaging its members. We are also better connected than ever before with other Swedish chambers and business organizations elsewhere in Asia and beyond, a result of initiatives generated by Eva through Swedish Chambers International.
These are just the words of one member. Many of you will want to thank Eva in person. We will therefore arrange a special “After Work” drinks event as soon as social distancing restrictions are loosened further (I hope very soon) – please stay tuned.
For now, however, on behalf of the members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, thank you Eva for pouring your heart and soul into our chamber, for giving so generously of yourself, and for always being there as a friend and colleague. Thank you most of all for all the smiles and laughter!
Chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong