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they stay with their families since rents are so expensive. I found it a bit surprising that young Swedes can even cook for themselves. Most people in the early 20s in Hong Kong don’t know much about cooking, except perhaps for instant noodles,” says Shum with a smile. Shum’s dream in life is to return to Sweden and have a career there and raise a family. “If I could choose, I would like my own children to study in Sweden,” he says (see separate article). “Cultural differences aside, young middle-class Swedes and Chinese have quite a lot in common. They study during daytime and spend time with friends in their spare time,” says Edvard Månsson, project manager at Flexworks in Huizhou, Guangdong province.

If I could choose, I would like my own children to study in Sweden.” Terence Shum, Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is so competitive that earning money is a way to show that you have succeeded.” Anna Reibring

“Where Chinese and Swedes differ is that Chinese face much more financial pressure early in their career, since they don’t have a safety net like we have in Sweden when it comes to healthcare, education, and so on. That affects their choice of career path,” he says. “In Sweden, you can follow your heart and develop yourself in an area you’re interested in even if it could lead to an unstable economic future. In China, you go for the most lucrative choice,” says Månsson (see separate article). b

Wanting to see the world While still a student, Anna Reibring tried out several different ventures but then she got a taste of Asia. At the age of 27, Anna Reibring has already tested her entrepreneurial wings as a gold trader and a store manager, as well as by marketing a collection of cufflinks. While Uppsala-born Reibring was studying international business and marketing at the city’s university, she started her first company, which was a franchise for handling gold trading in which she was the intermediary between the endcustomer and the factory. She was also very interested in retail and became both a part-owner and store manager at Mäster Arnes, a clothing store for both men and women in Uppsala. Together with the Swedish actor and chef Per Morberg and Skultuna Messingsbruk, a Swedish brass mill founded already in 1607, she launched a collection of cufflinks and was responsible for the sales. “I learnt a lot from all these activities, but I decided I should finish my studies and I also wanted to see the world,” says Reibring, who got a chance to move to Singapore for half a year as an exchange student. There, she got a taste of Asia and, after graduating, she discovered that Uppsala University had initiated a scholarship in Hong Kong together with the Swedish Chamber of Commerce there. She applied and was chosen as the

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I really like the fast pace in Hong Kong.” Anna Reibring

university’s first scholarship holder. “I worked 75 per cent of the time at the chamber, where I was organising events and doing many other things. The remaining 25 per cent of my time was with Uppsala University and one of my main tasks was to establish and develop an alumni network in Asia, which I also did,” she says. “At SwedCham I enjoyed working in an international environment, I could improve my English language skills and get valuable experience speaking in front of a lot of people.” When she moved to Hong Kong, she did not think she would stay there for more than a year. “After six months, I’d totally changed my mind,” Reibring says. “I really like the fast pace in Hong Kong, the public transport system is excellent and Hong Kong offers many opportunities for hiking and beach life.” Since her internship at the chamber, she has worked with branding and sales in a couple of companies and is now really excited to see what the future will hold for her.

Dragon News - No.2, 2017  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...

Dragon News - No.2, 2017  

Dragon News is a member magazine, published by the Editorial Committees of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Swedish Cham...