Swedish trade minister raised issues about human rights with PH

Oscar Stenström

Manila, Philippines – The head of Swedish business delegation Oscar Stenström has raised concerns on human rights issues over the government’s war on drugs.

Stenström, deputy minister of trade and European Union affairs, raised the issues during his meeting with officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and also with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The Swedish business delegates were on a two-day visit in Manila to offer and promote their products to the Philippine market.

“I have raised the issues of human rights, about the possible reintroduction of capital punishment. The questions on human rights and especially how law enforcement has been conducting the war on drugs concern us. It’s an issue which I brought up with the government of the Philippines,” Stenström said on his interview with Philstar on Thursday in Pasay City.

Stenström reiterated the concerns of the Swedish companies operating in the Philippines about the development of the war on drugs.

“If they are concerned, we are concerned, and as I said we have a very strong view on human rights, which I have explained to the Philippine government that we disagree here. We would like to see improvement and we are expecting improvement,” he said.

"I can only say that we have different views on the issue. It’s very clear, the position of the Swedish government as well as the EU Commission,” he added.

Earlier, Stenström also said that doing business with the Philippines remained “complicated”.  

He visited the Philippines offering transportation and air traffic control as well as management solutions which are among the Sweden’s products of expertise.

Though he raised concerns on the country’s human rights issues when it comes to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, Stenström also hopes that it can be addressed when Philippines and European Union has finalized a free-trade agreement.

 Source:Business Mirror

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