Prince Carl Philip visits Hong Kong

From Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 December, Prince Carl Philip visited Hong Kong together with two business delegations. The aim of the visit was to promote Swedish industry and to highlight Swedish interests within design and education. Business Sweden hosted the delegations.

Tuesday 5 December
Prince Carl Philip's visit to Hong Kong began with a tour of the city with Consul General Helena Storm, who presented Hong Kong and its history, as well as Swedish interests in and relations with Hong Kong.

The Prince then attended a reception at the Swedish Residence. The guests at the reception included representatives from the delegations.

The first day in Hong Kong concluded with a dinner hosted by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung. The focus for the dinner was education, and participants included official representatives from the Government of Hong Kong, the EdTech delegation and representatives from a number of universities based in Hong Kong.

View of the city from the Swedish Residence. Photo: royalcourt.se

Wednesday 6 December
The Prince's second day in Hong Kong began with a meeting with Swedish businesses and Financial Secretary Paul Chan. A number of Swedish and international businesses working in Hong Kong also took part in the meeting.

There then followed a visit to West Island School, which is run by the English Schools Foundation (ESF), a foundation that provides international teaching in Hong Kong. ESF consists of 22 schools with a total of 17,500 students from more than 60 different countries. During the visit, The Prince and the delegation found out about ESF's work relating to technology and digitalisation.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau hosted a lunch which The Prince attended together with Victor Lo, founder of Hong Kong Business of Design Week (BoDW), representatives from the Hong Kong Design Centre and representatives from Team Sweden in Hong Kong and Svensk Form.

The Prince gives the opening speech at the Cultivating A Future Mindset – Creative Leadership seminar. Photo: royalcourt.se

After lunch, The Prince took part in the Cultivating A Future Mindset – Creative Leadership seminar, which was arranged by BoDW.

The Prince opened the seminar, and said:

"Stockholm is now second only to Silicon Valley in the number of successful start-ups per capita in the world. Generating jobs and export revenues, there is growing recognition that this sector is a force to be reckoned with on its own. It is people that create innovation – regardless of which industry. It starts with people, their knowledge, curiosity and courage to try the new and unknown.

"I understand that Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, has identified the development of the creative industries as being strategically important to Hong Kong. This common ground between Hong Kong and Sweden is something I hope we will continue to build on. Collaborating on creativity could create great opportunities for the future."

Read the speech in full hereopens in new window.

There then followed a panel discussion including Vice-Chancellor of the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design Maria Lantz, creativity expert Tobias Degsell and Executive Director of Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship Rasmus Rahm.

During the evening, The Prince and the delegations attended a gala dinner arranged by the Swedish Consulate-General and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. The guests included Princess Birgitta, in her capacity as Patron of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, representatives from industries in Hong Kong, Swedish businesses and members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

The final day in Hong Kong began with a meeting with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam. Representatives from the business delegations and the Chamber of Commerce attended. Photo: royalcourt.se

Thursday 7 December
The final day in Hong Kong began with a meeting with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam, with a clear focus on transforming the city into an international hub for cultural and creative industries.

The Prince and the delegation then travelled to Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. Around 600 businesses operate here. The delegation visited Karolinska Institutet's Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine and the Gold Peak Design Centre.

At the Vocational Training Centre, which offers professional training and work experience within fields such as the hospitality industry. Photo: royalcourt.se

Lunch was then served at the Vocational Training Centre (VTC), Hong Kong's largest state institution, which offers professional training and work experience within the hospitality industry. The theme for the lunch was food from farm to fork.

Evelina Kollberg describes The Human Trap, a monumental, crocheted, interactive sculpture. Photo: royalcourt.se

After lunch, Prince Carl Philip attended the opening of the Swedish pavilion at Hong Kong Business of Design Week (BoDW). Here, a number of different Swedish companies were presented together with the exhibition Young Swedish Design. Evelina Kollberg, designer of The Human Trap, and Karin Bodin, creator of The New Man and The Sea, described their works.

Business of Design Week, arranged by Hong Kong Design Centre, attracted more than 100,000 visitors and around 180 exhibitors from around the world. This year's partner nation was Italy. Sweden has previously been BoDW's partner nation on two occasions.

Prince Carl Philip then attended the opening of the Swedish Dads photo exhibition. Over the course of two years, photographer Johan Bävman took portraits of 45 fathers on parental leave and included quotations about their experiences of becoming fathers. The project has been displayed around the world, forming the basis for discussions on equality within society in general and shared parental responsibility in particular. The starting point for the exhibition in Hong Kong was fatherhood and the common efforts and identity this involves, regardless of circumstances and nationality.

At the opening of the Swedish Dads photo exhibition. Photo: royalcourt.se

Prince Carl Philip's visit to Hong Kong concluded with a seminar on design and creativity at METTA, a forum and platform where entrepreneurs from all over the world can network. The keynote speaker was Jaan Orvet, Design Strategist at Boris Design Studio, who gave a speech entitled You and Me? – Let's Design Unexpected Collaborations. There then followed a panel discussion on fostering creativity in the future. The moderator was Marie Claire Maxwell, Head of Technology and Startup Lead Asia Pacific, Business Sweden.

The seminar was arranged by the Consulate-General, Business Sweden and the Chamber of Commerce's Creative Swedes committee. The members of Creative Swedes are Hong Kong-based businesses within the cultural and creative industries.

Business Sweden's business delegations

One of the delegations consisted of representatives from Swedish businesses taking part in Hong Kong Business of Design Week (BoDW). BoDW is Asia's biggest annual design event and includes features such as exhibitions, seminars and training collaboration, all focusing on design and creativity.

The other delegation consisted of representatives from Swedish businesses operating within the new Swedish educational technology industry (EdTech). The organisation focuses on the opportunities and effects of digitalisation within the education system. The visit to Hong Kong was the organisation's first international trip.