Digital Marketing Online Event by SACC and Amire 23 July 2020

Summary and links from SACC Live Streamed Event hosted by Amire Strategic Digital Marketing with Facebook, HubSpot and IKEA

The focus on this event was – how to navigate and increase market share from a digital marketing perspective. Amire Strategic Digital Marketing studio will provide tangible insights on how businesses can utilise digital marketing successfully and representatives from Facebook, HubSpot and IKEA will provide specific tips on how they are supporting businesses market their brands, products and services.

The event was hosted by Sean Rooney, Director Amire Strategic Digital Marketing and we also had the following representatives presenting:

  • Christian Becker, E-commerce Manager, IKEA Australia
  • David Fernandez, Client Partner Retail, Facebook
  • Kat Warboys, Head of Marketing, Hubspot

Jan Gardberg, President of the Chamber and CEO of IKEA Australia & New Zealand, welcomed all and gave us a brief intro of the SACC and the topic for this webinar.

Sean Rooney, Director Amire Strategic Digital Marketing gave us an insight into useful google tools for analysing data, trends, local SEO and receive customer reviews. He spoke about the importance to connect with your customers through social media. “It is time to be more sensitive and empathetic. We need to look at how we are helping people and the community. We need to look at what our corporate social responsibility is and what our policies are and how we are educating and informing our online community.” Furthermore, Sean explained the importance of attribution modelling which can increase your performance with 20-40%. Here are some useful links recommended by Sean:

Christian Becker, E-commerce Manager, IKEA Australia presented how IKEA successfully increased their online market share. IKEA launched e-commerce in 2018 and the online market share within the home furnishing market is around 15% now. As a result of COVID the online conversion rate has tripled. Christian explained how they have achieved this and it comes back to understanding who your customers are and what are their needs. IKEA also put a lot of focus on SEO (search engine optimisation) and SEM (search engine marketing) and shifted to keyword targeting on none branded search. They updated the website with SEO in focus to make it easier to browse, explore and plan and launched free home furnishing advice via a virtual design service. Another area IKEA focused on was customer promise with instant customer gratification through high and stable stock availability, free contactless click and collect, contactless and consistent delivery offer.

David Fernandez, Client Partner Retail, Facebook spoke about the change in peoples behaviour as a result of COVID and lock-down. People are now the most important things in our lives and the crisis has made us think more about our choices. People demand more precautions, value personal space, appreciate essentials, assist and support local brands, opt for cashless, tap’n go, self-service and contactless encounters. “We are re-evaluating the things we took for granted and really hone in on what is truly essential for us.” David continued to present some tools which Facebook offers such as Stories which gives people the power to creatively communicate and the acceleration of Stories is much faster than Feed within Facebook. It started on Instagram, then Facebook and now LinkedIn is now rolling out a stories capability as well. He also highlighted in-stream video details as a great branding opportunity for businesses to use as a natural extension to their screen strategy for online videos.

Kat Warboys, Head of Marketing, Hubspot began by sharing the HubSpot’s Benchmark Data report about what COVID-19 has taught us about growth in a crisis. Website traffic has increased steadily and peaked in mid June at 25% above benchmark. Customer initiated chat is a service that customers really value and increased in June at 58% above benchmark. There has also been an increase in engagement in marketing email but a decrease in response rate when it comes to sales emails. Kat highlighted the takeaways from these changes (see below) and to pay attention to, How have your buyers changed with regards to behaviour, needs? What challenges have emerged and how can you adapt? Has a new persona emerged that you are able to provide a service or product to?

  • Revisit your buyer persona and consider how your content and product/service may need to adapt.
  • Your website is your new shop front, invest in SEO to ensure potential buyers can find you and invest in chat and chatbots to help your team’s productivity and support customers, especially as their expectations evolve.
  • Focus your sales on quality over quantity to improve outcomes.

Useful links from Kat:

Link to the webinar recording:

This event was kindly supported by Amire Strategic Digital Marketing and will be held at their Manly based office and live-streamed.

Contact us if you would like more information:

For event updates and information visit and follow us on Facebook  I  Linkedin  I  Twitter

Summary of SACC Webinar 23 June with Professor Göran Roos on the present state of the economy and “the new normal”

Again the Chamber had the privilege to welcome Professor Göran Roos a keynote speaker and this time Professor Roos joined us virtually from the UK. The webinar was organised as a follow up on our webinar series COVID-19 impact on business, trade and investment with a focus on the economic impact. Professor Roos gave us a comprehensive insight into the present state of the Economy and the “New Normal” with implications for the Resource Extraction Industry.

As presented in the bio below Professor Göran Roos has many titles, accomplishments, and credentials including a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. A very prominent title awarded by 900 fellow peers of the organisation. ATSE is an Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems. Göran was born and raised in Sweden and graduated from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Göran lived in Adelaide for many years and recently moved back to the UK with his family. Professor Roos has been a keynote speaker at a few SACC events and last year he presented a very interesting and challenging topic at a SACC Perth WA event on “Implications for the mining industry of moving to a low resource footprint value-creating paradigm” i.e. “what’s the new normal for the mining industry when the world is going green”.

Professor Roos’s presentation for this webinar with focus on the present state of the Economy and the “New Normal” is based on insights from statistics, facts, and conclusions from a research perspective.

Göran began to present the curve for the economy to get back to what we call the new normal and what the new normal is going to be. “In the beginning, there was a lot of optimism about a v-shaped recovery but in reality, it looks like it will be more of a “Nike Swoosh” recovery meaning a much slower recovery than anticipated It will take many years until we get back to where we were and even longer to where we ought to be”, said Professor Roos.

Looking at the GDP forecast for Australia the GDP drop was about 40%. “The employment is usually in these types of crisis situations a laggard and it will take longer for the employment to come back than the GDP”. The unemployment rate for Australia if we only see a single hit of the pandemic is forecasted to increase from 5% to 8 %. The unemployment issue is very large and it causes increased crime, mental health problems, and general disturbance issues in the economy. The three most impacted sectors with regards to unemployment are Accommodation & food, transport & storage and manufacturing.

Göran brought up the COVID-19 impact on the Gross National Income (GNI) based on the actual number of cases in each country plus the quarantine shock. The direct effect on the GNI in Australia was -8.7%, the effect on the GVC (Global Value Chain) was -2.1% compared to China where the direct effect was -11.3% and the GVC -2.4% and Sweden with 0% direct effect, as a result of no lockdown but the GVC was -3.6%.

The sector which has experienced the biggest change is the service sector and especially the airline and travel industry. Some airlines are looking at being nationalised and many airlines won’t be able to survive. Airfreight will become very expensive, airfares will go up due to the lack of air passengers especially business travellers.

Aspects of the new normal includes increased automation, supply chain diversification to increase resilience at a cost, re-localisation or restructuring of global value chains disrupted by digital ways of working and a rise of new business models.

“Globalisation is slowing down maybe even in some sectors and countries reversing quite dramatically, this means that we will have more protectionism in some sectors in some countries”.

These are just a few highlights of the presentation, to listen to the full recording of the webinar with the Q&A session please follow this link:


Keynote speaker biography

Professor Göran Arne Roos holds a MSc in Engineering Physics from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden; an MBA in Strategy from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France; an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Management Consultancy from Henley Management College in Henley-on-Thames, UK; and a Ph.D. in Business and Management from University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia. Göran is a specialist in the field of intellectual capital and an expert in innovation management and strategy. He is a common advisor to organizations and governments around the globe. Göran is a CSIRO fellow and also a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). Göran was named “one of the 13 most influential thinkers for the 21st Century” by the Spanish business journal “Direccion y Progreso” and was appointed “Manufacturing for the Future” Thinker in Residence by the South Australian Premier for the year 2011 and an appointed member of the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Leaders Group 2012/2013. He was selected for Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Top 10 Speeches 2013: A collection of the most influential and interesting speeches from the CEDA platform in 2013 for the speech: “The future of manufacturing in Australia: Innovation and productivity”.


The session was moderated by Figge Boksjö, Chair of the SACC Perth WA Chapter.

Contact us if you would like more information:

For event updates and information visit and follow us on Facebook  I  Linkedin  I  Twitter

“The World’s largest digital workplace experiment” and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on international cooperation and the global sustainability agenda

This third webinar in the SACC’s webinar series 11 June on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business, trade and investment looked at the future beyond the pandemic and the conversation focused on what we have learned so far and what we believe will be “the new normal” for business. We also looked at the consequences of the pandemic on urban culture, the society at large as well as the pandemic’s impact on international cooperation and the global sustainability agenda.

On the panel for the webinar we were delighted to welcome back to SACC HE Pär Ahlberger, Ambassador for Sustainable Business at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who was calling in from Stockholm; Sarah Goss, Head of Innovation, Ericsson Australia & New Zealand as well as Sam Okeby, Head of Commercial Development, Lendlease Australia.


We commenced the conversation in regards to how technology has been such an important enabler for all of us to be productive whilst working from home. Sarah Goss, commenced the conversation with “We are at a moment in time which has really placed a spotlight on what is an ‘essential service’ and we have all seen the essential nature of connectivity. Our communications networks are recognized as critical national infrastructure”.

She continued by recognising that despite a 70 percent increase in usage of the NBN, the network is showing a lot of robustness and reliability in this time of crisis.

Sarah also made reference to a report released on 9 June 2020, by global research company OMDIA (formerly Ovum), stating that Australia is ranked 12th out of 22 countries in the global 5G market which have been examined for their deployment of the technology. The report used operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up, 5G spectrum availability and the regulatory ecosystem to rank each 5G market – but rankings were determined as of the end of 2019. With the impact of COVID-19 there has been some increased focus on 5G in Australia.

As a testament to the criticality to accelerate the roll-out of 5G, Telstra CEO Andy Penn announced in May this year that Telstra will bring forward its $500 million of capital expenditure to increase capacity in their network which was planned for the second half of FY21 into the calendar year 2020.

Sarah continued “Through COVID-19, we have seen a huge acceleration in digitization across the economy including telehealth, remote learning, remote working and e-commerce. We believe 5G will be a key enabling technology to support Australia’s digital economy into the future”.

Sarah also recognised that this crisis and the extensive remote work set-up, has certainly highlighted that it is critical to get the people dimension right and that a remote working set-up has also shown to put different demands on leadership capability.

On the question of what we have learned from this crisis, Sarah concludes “We’ve learnt that connectivity is like oxygen and we’ve learnt to slow down and recognise what’s important in life. We’ve also learnt that Australians can pull together for the collective good and in the context of companies and digital technology, we’ve not only learnt but we’ve really up-ended traditional beliefs about remote and flexible working”.

In March of this year, Ericsson shifted the majority of its staff to work from home – nearly overnight. Today, around 85,000 Ericsson employees, who are running networks, working in R&D and support functions, are all nearly to 100 percent working from home.

“We need to remain adaptive to the prevailing conditions through this transition which we’re going through and to continue to learn as we shape what a post COVID-19 world will look like” was Sarah’s response to what she believes that Ericsson will bring into the future. She also said that there is still a lot of uncertainty and a degree of experimentation. “Having said that, there is no going back on some things, and I think widespread remote and flexible working will remain”.

Generally speaking, she also recognised that companies have by default increased their technological competency and high-tech skills of their workforce which she believes is only set out to continue and which is also underpinning that companies will have to invest in their IT infrastructure.

Sarah’s recommendations for businesses going on a digital transformation journey is, just like with any change process, the people dimension is always the most complex and challenging but also the most important challenge to get right. “In embedding the positive outcomes from COVID-19 long-term, including more work flexibility, we must ensure we address the mindset, culture and WoW [Ways of Working] piece that will enable sustained change and success”.

Also to mention in this context is the necessity to update policies and practices, especially relating to remote and flexible working. The business’ leadership capability must also be developed hand-in-hand with this. At Ericsson they are currently running targeted learning and development initiatives for their top 120 leaders to ensure they are able to effectively meet the new demands for leaders.

“We are also focusing on ‘now is the time’ to crack through the change we want to see in D&I[Diversity and Inclusion]; D&I enhances business performance and realising these benefits in practice must be a central factor in the way we design our evolution and set the tone for our evolved culture​. We also want to break down barriers and friction that makes it difficult for people to do their jobs or difficult for customers to do business with us.  Persisting issues relating to simplification must be resolved” said Sarah.


Another area, which also has been spoken about a lot during this crisis is the physical space where we work, the office. Sam Okeby from LendLease Australia, said that the pandemic’s impact on workplace development is already widely recognised and now the workplace is pretty much reimagined.

“Our previous ways of working and living has definitely changed.  The impact of COVID-19 has driven the world’s largest digital workplace experiment and this has changed the way we are viewing physical space, including the function of our cities” he said.

Sam also said that how we return to our cities and what our new work patterns will look like, will be directly influenced by what culture companies want to achieve and how physical space contributes to achieving these goals. “The physical workplace has always been a significant lever in the shaping of culture – and will still be going forward, and now with the digital tools which we have become very comfortable using, this will result in a more diverse network of spaces forming part of the reimagined workplace,” he said.

Sam also raised the impact on businesses attracting talent during and post-COVID-19 “The companies we work with have always had a mission to attract talent and in the past talent has always followed companies to the cities where they operate from. Given the effective use of video conference technology, we do see workplace strategies incrementally shifting to now capture talent previously isolated by location”.

One thing that has been identified from is the digital workplace experiment was the relationships that had formed through working together physically, were directly linked to how effective people felt working digitally with each other.

“Overall though we still see companies prioritising the need for a physical workplace to shape culture and to connect people. Our engagement with customers has confirmed that people want to immerse themselves in the culture of a business and align themselves with the values of the business and physical places have been a key driver of this” said Sam.

On the question of what Lendlease has learned from the crisis, Sam said “COVID-19 has reinforced that people are the number one consideration.  At Lendlease the safety of our people has always been our first priority. While companies consider the future of their workplaces, we expect that they will focus on wanting to provide a healthy environment for their people to work in. Also given the consideration working flexibly or WFH [Work From Home] will now play, companies will need to balance this new way of working with providing equal opportunity for those who this option may not be achievable”.

Sam also mentioned how Lendlease is committed to delivering places and buildings that advance human health and wellness and that they have been working with the International WELL Building Institute to ensure our projects are certified to their WELL Building Standard. Going forward, Lendlease believes that having WELL certified buildings will be a key decision point for companies.

Another aspect of the crisis that we need to remember which Sam pointed out is that the world has just had an unprecedented detox.  It has been estimated that the 3 months of lockdown around the world has generated roughly a 9 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Although that is the largest drop for decades, it is also recognised that even a global lockdown only produced a 9 percent dent. To reduce emissions to meet a less than 2 degree target requires that same level of reduction every year for the next 20 years.

Off this remarkable result, Sam said “Key going forward will be how we can sustain some of the positive impacts, how we can promote the uptake of cycling, walking and active transport options long term, and how can we also resist the reaction to jump back into single occupancy vehicles”.

Sam also referred to signs that unlike during the GFC, companies aren’t backing away from sustainability. “We are also seeing calls to ensure economic stimulus packages are directed to green and sustainable initiatives, a so called ‘Green Recovery’” he said.

Sam continued “At a more granular level the density of spaces is currently being debated, I believe the key here is that we need to listen to people as they return to cities and make sure we make people feel comfortable with how space is occupied. I believe technology can play a critical role here helping you to plan your days so that you can move around cities at a time and in a way that makes you feel comfortable”.

On the question what he believes will be a focus for commercial construction development in the future, Sam said that “My prediction is that this convergence of the physical and digital places will happen faster now as a result of COVID-19. The digital world and its convergence with the physical world has been a mega-trend we have been planning for.  In 2019 Lendlease launched Lendlease Digital – headed by Bill Ruh, previously the Chief Executive Officer, GE Digital and GE’s Chief Digital Officer, to accelerate our digital transformation”.

He continued “I believe companies will now plan for their physical workplace and digital workplace concurrently.  Previously physical was planned first. Knowing that you work in a healthy building will also be key, so we see WELL Certification becoming more important”.

Sam also said that they are seeing that companies are increasingly adopting a network strategy for the workplace, some are referring to this as a ‘Hub and Spoke’.

“We have been working on different models to achieve a network strategy over the last couple of years with both a pilot project here in Australia being the Local Office in Sydney and C-suites business in Singapore. We will continue to work with our customers to develop the best solution for each company that matches their workplace culture strategy – with a physical network strategy and a digital strategy. Having your physical furniture, digital furniture and cultural furniture aligning will be the reimagined workplace” he said.


SACC was delighted to welcome back HE Pär Ahlberger to our events. HE Ahlberger was the Swedish Ambassador to Australia for five years and has remained in close contact with the Chamber since.

The response to this crisis has mainly had a domestic focus, with governments handling their own response and meeting the crisis with different measures on a local level. However, it is a global pandemic with global implications.

In regards to the global challenges that we can expect to see as a consequence of the pandemic, the Ambassador made this statement “The COVID-19 pandemic is global health, economic and social crisis. The world is in crisis management mode and international systems are being challenged. Global value chains have been severely interrupted and people have lost their jobs. The pandemic will not last forever but its effects will be felt for years to come”.

He continued “The pandemic reinforces the trend of backsliding democracy and weakened respect for human rights. There are widespread concerns of corruption and challenges to the environment. The pandemic hits hard on many groups in society and is thereby presenting us with major new challenges. We are experiencing something unprecedented in modern times”.

The Ambassador continued “COVID-19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of companies. One can say that COVID-19 is the ultimate stress test for CSR (human rights, gender equality, good working conditions and anti-corruption), in the immediate crisis as well as in the long term”.

The Ambassador referred to a survey that was conducted in Sweden with some 25 global Swedish participating companies and 80 percent of the companies stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed weaknesses in their business or in their value chains. 70 percent stated that their long term commitment to CSR matters had not been affected as a consequence of the pandemic. 

“The crisis is not a time for less cooperation or more protectionism. International cooperation is needed to manage the crisis, to tackle the health emergency but also to focus on the social impacts and the economic recovery” said the Ambassador.


The Swedish Government has launched a Platform for International Sustainable Business with an expressed expectation on Swedish companies to act sustainably and responsibly by working for human rights, gender equality, good working conditions, the environment, climate considerations and to combat corruption. Sweden has since long been a strong supporter of the UN Global Compact and will now give support to decent work in global supply chains and on sustainability in procurement.

As a recommendation for businesses on where to start their CSR work and to familiarise themselves with The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact’s guide for business leaders in responding to the crisis, which is a guide that provides ideas and inspiration in these uncertain times to business leaders. “I am impressed by the way UN Global Compact has stepped forward, also by the way they have provided specific guidance to companies,” said the Ambassador.

Next week some 11,000 participants will attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on June 15 and 16. At this summit, an important initiative will be launched, titled SDG Ambition: Introducing Business Benchmarks for the Decade of Action, which has a strong link to Agenda2030**. The aim for this initiative is to encourage more ambitious action by companies on additional issues. Over the coming months, the UN Global Compact will also invite businesses to provide feedback on this initiative.


The Ambassador recognised the SACC’s initiative to partner with UN Global Compact Australia already a couple of years ago “You can be proud of having engaged since long on sustainable business. You launched the first-ever collaboration between a national Chamber of commerce in Australia and UN Global Compact, and launched a project on Agenda2030 and in particular SDG5***” he said.

The Ambassador recommended the webinar participants to join the Leaders Summit next week and for SACC to continue its collaboration with UN Global Compact Australia. He also informed everyone that UN Global Compact Australia will organise a session during the leaders meeting next week to discuss climate change in times of crisis and the role of bribery prevention and detection in building strong partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals. He also recommended companies to consider to join the UN Global Compact Academy, which includes some 10 modules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed an interactive CSR training module in which SACC is looking at rolling out for businesses in Australia. There will also be a CSR webinar with Swedish chambers of commerce in Asia and Pacific which is planned for September.

By Moderator of the Webinar: Teresia Fors, Vice President of SACC


**Agenda2030 is United Nations, 2015, “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”: The Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom and recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

***SDG5 is United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.


View the video recording of the Q&A session of this webinar here

Contact us if you would like more information:

For event updates and information visit and follow us on Facebook  I  Linkedin  I  Twitter

Swedish Chambers APAC webinar 10 June with Anna Hallberg & Carl-Henric Svanberg

Take away from Swedish Chambers APAC webinar 10 June 2020 with Anna Hallberg, Minister for Foreign Trade Sweden & Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of  Volvo Group

On June 10th, The Swedish Chambers of Commerce in APAC co-organised an interesting and popular webinar on: Swedish trade and industrial support policies as well as Swedish business management during COVID-19.

We were honored to have two key patron speakers in the field of Swedish foreign trade and business: Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of Volvo Group share their experiences on this topic.

The webinar was a great success with an amazing 400+ participants joining in from China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia and Vietnam.









During the panel session interesting topics were discussed on how Swedish trade policy has functioned during COVID-19, what industrial measures have been put in place and what can we learn from Asia.

Thank you to moderators Peter-Ling Vannerus, Chief Representative of SEB Beijing and Johan Javeus, Chief Strategist and Head of Research & Strategy, SEB.

We are grateful for the support of SEB in arranging this webinar

View the webinar here:


The concept of offering high profile webinars organized by the Swedish Chamber of Commerces in APAC is new, and after this successful first time, we are already planning many more in the months to come. Next in line is with Senior Economist at Mannheimer Swartling, Klas Eklund as a keynote speaker. So stay tuned!

Summary of SACC Annual Executive Forum on 2 June 2020

The Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce annual Executive Forum was held 2 June. It was great to see so many people joining this virtual forum which was supposed to be a round table meeting in person.


The President of SACC Jan Gardberg welcomed and introduced special guests HE Henrik Cederin Ambassador of Sweden to Australia and Mr Martin Ekberg, Trade Commissioner Australia, keynote speakers Professor Göran Roos and Mr Kieran Schneemann, Government Affairs Director, AstraZeneca and SACC representatives in the meeting Jonas Lindholm, Teresia Fors and Camilla Jennings. Jan also highlighted the purpose of the meeting to create a dialogue, share experiences, to identify opportunities, areas of cooperation within and across sectors and to establish areas of support between Swedish businesses, the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy and Business Sweden.


HE Henrik Cederin Ambassador of Sweden to Australia, thanked SACC and welcomed the group of senior executives of Swedish businesses in Australia for joining SACC and representatives from Team Sweden (the Embassy, Business Sweden and SACC) to discuss what to do to prepare for the period post COVID-19.

Ambassador Cederin referred to the worrying global political trends that we can see now of protectionism, inward looking governments, global cooperation getting harder and harder and generally not prioritised global governance issues. He recognised that Sweden and Australia are likeminded countries and share views on the importance of continued broad global cooperation.

The Ambassador also gave an update on the high-level visit HRH The Crown Princess and the Government Representative planned for April that was postponed and informed everyone that the Embassy is hopeful that this visit will be rescheduled in the not too distant future. Furthermore, he mentioned the importance of input from the corporations so that we can add value by working together. Areas of focus will be Sustainability, Smart City solutions, Swedish Mining Initiative, Health and MedTech. Post COVID-19 will bring challenges but also many opportunities and there will be interesting openings for cooperation within different areas including the areas mentioned.


Mr Martin Ekberg, Trade Commissioner Australia also thanked the Chamber for organising the platform for the forum. He also recognised that Team Sweden is an effective platform for Swedish businesses in Australia to collaborate. He presented the results from a survey Business Sweden conducted surveying Swedish companies early on in the crisis in May. In summary, the pandemic has had a bigger impact on business than what initially was predicted, however, confidence is growing slightly again and many businesses are realising that they will have to redefine their offer and adjust their sales and marketing efforts.


Professor Göran Roos presented a comprehensive view of the economic indicators before, during and what is predicted for the countries heavily impacted by the crisis. It was concluded that the debt to GDP ratio will increase as measurements to mitigate the economic impact of the crisis will take effect. The recovery path is broadly considered not to spike but to have a prolonged “NIKE” curve due to what is expected from business: reluctancy to take back staff, low level management will be removed altogether, social distancing measurements will continue to impact the service industry, increased digital activity will the office / real estate industry heavily, broad solvency issues which could lead to governments going in with debt against equity swap offers, possibly domestic industry development, increased frugality/consumer spend. What do we think will be the “New Normal”? Most definitely supply chain diversification promoting more regional and domestic buying, task automation in production, continued digital disruption of many services, declining globalisation, delayed “green switch’, China trying to reassert its participation (through increased acquisitions and IP assumptions) and accelerating its absorption of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Australia will continue to be sandwiched between the USA and China, WTO is continually marginalised and will continue to be without support from the US and China. Local manufacturing is on the rise and storage issues have certainly come to the forefront of the minds of government (Finnish example), increased appetite for government procurement and lastly the impact of the ownership of raw materials.


Mr Kieran Schneemann, Government Affairs Director AstraZeneca presented the different situation of infected individuals in Sweden vs Australia and said that in both countries the risk of a second wave of infections is severe. He also presented an extensive view of the Australian government response and its implication on our economy. In summary, what is predicted at this point in time is that the Australian government response will come at a cost of more than $300bn, over a three-year period. This is to be confirmed when the delayed budget will be presented on the 6th of October later this year. Kieran also presented the coming elections as it is important to understand how these critical political dates will impact the priorities of the different state and federal governments and thereby impact business. What we can assume at this stage is that, due to the increased domestic spend and stimulus packages to bring back economic activity, all governments will be asked to look at cuts in other areas. For example, climate change issues will most likely not be a key focus. We can also assume that there will be a lot of policies introduced to make the sitting government “look good” with an imminent election. We can also estimate that there will be a blow- out in the medical benefit scheme as the health budget has increased significantly and future patient support will likely be reduced.

The next SACC Executive Forum is planned to be held in person in Melbourne on 16 September.

Paytech a growing Swedish export – Opportunities and Challenges entering the Australian market

In this webinar, we focused on an export that Sweden has excelled in over the past 10 years – Financial Technology and more specifically Payment Technology, which touches most of us every day. We heard from Swedish Paytech companies and experts in Australia, about opportunities and why entering the Australian market, how it is to set up and scale in Australia, differences between the Swedish payment technology compared to here in Australia, company culture, opportunities and challenges in extraordinary times.

Camilla Bullock, Director General, Emerging Payment Association ASIA and moderator for the session introduced the panelists and began setting the scene with: “When we travel abroad, we often talk about what we are proud of from our home country. Many Swedes might bring up Abba, Avicii, famous actors like Stellan Skarsgård or big companies like IKEA and Volvo. What comes to my mind is often Financial Technology and I talk about Trustly, iZellte, Bambora and then I talk about Klarna.”

Klarna launched in Australia in January 2020 and has been around for about 15 years. Klarna was founded by three university students, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth and Victor Jacobsson, who came up with an idea on how to provide consumers and merchants with safer and simpler online shopping payment methods. They took their idea and entered the Stockholm School of Economics annual entrepreneurship award in 2005. Despite that their idea was not received with enthusiasm and their entry was among the last in the competition they decided to start up Klarna in the middle of 2005. Today Klarna is the largest fintech start-up in Europe, valued at USD $5.5 billion and with 85 million users.

To the panel we invited Francine Ereira Country Head Klarna Australia & New Zealand, Roland Schmid Country Manager Westpay AB, Australia & NZ and Lance Blockley Managing Director at The Initiatives Group and Ambassador Emerging Payments Association ASIA.

Francine began by presenting Klarna and why they decided to enter the Australian market. “Australia is a very attractive market for Klarna, we believe that we have an exceptional shopping experience which separates us from the rest of the buy now pay later providers. What we mean by that is that we deliver an engaging experience for our customers rather than a transaction. When we look at the Australian market there is only 10% of the population that have done a buy now pay later transaction and the addressable audience is obviously much larger. We decided to enter the market now as the Australian consumer is looking for transparency and an engaging partner to work with and Klarna offers that.”

“Klarna wants to be the number one shopping experience in every country that we are represented in, and our ambition is to become the leader in the Australian market. It is all about consumer engagement and if the consumers see value in a proposition and they feel that it is a great product for them to use and it becomes their way to pay, then that is ultimately what gives us the success we are looking for. Given our experience in most markets in the world I am really confident that we can reach our goal.”

Lance, Australian Payment Specialist who visited Sweden and several Swedish Paytechs last year and has been an advisor for Bambora on their entering the Australian market, spoke about recent market trends. “There has been a long-term trend from credit cards into debit. Credit cards are becoming the new senior’s cards. Most of the buy now pay later accounts have debit cards associated with them. It could be related to the younger demographic using them but to some extent by using a buy now pay later with debit you have a quasi-credit facility working for you so you can effectively create your own credit card from a debit card. Buy now pay later account applications have gone up during the pandemic and credit card applications have gone down. Generally seamless embedded in-app payments have increased,  without people even realising that they paid whilst they were using the app.”

“It took a number of years for the acquiring infrastructure for tap and go to catch up with contactless card issuance in Australia. In 2012 Coles and Woolworths adopted contactless payments and now Australia has more open-loop contactless transactions per person than anywhere in the world. We are now seeing a very slow progression into the mobile format for tap and go payments.”

Roland, Swedish Payments Specialist who has been living and working within paytech in Australia for many years and lately representing Westpay AB, was asked about differences in company culture comparing Australia with Sweden. “In general, Swedish companies have a very flat organisation and open with delegated responsibility to the team which gives the individual more opportunities to develop within their expertise. Australian work culture is a bit more controlled and structured with a few in-between levels.” Francine added to the topic: “I am very proud to say that Klarna Australia follows the Swedish parent’s structure, culture and operating models and it is very refreshing. Of the entire team that has joined Klarna Australia, the number one comment we get is: wow we are empowered, we can actually get this done and we have access to everything. There are no secrets and it’s a very flat organisation. We’ve had a great response to the culture we are creating, it has got a real buzz about it. There are no egos and it’s all about doing what we can as a team to become the number one buy now pay later service in the country. I love that side about the Swedish culture, it is fantastic.”

We also highlighted the biggest challenges in entering the Australian market and Roland commented: “The main challenges with entering the Australian market are the local regulations and certifications needed, both hardware and software have to be recertified which already had been certified in Europe and then we have the local card eftpos, which further adds technical development, costs and requires certification makes it challenging to enter the market. The investments needed for all recertifications and time are the largest hurdles.”

View the full video recording of this webinar here:

Special thank you to the panelists:

Francine (Bergman) Ereira, Country Head Klarna Australia & New Zealand

Fran Ereira has an extensive history working in information technology, services and retail. She joined Klarna in February after two years as General Manager, Sales Solution & Deliver at Zip Co Limited.  Prior to this she was Vice President for the Asia Pacific Region for Temando, a technology company that is a leading supplier of fulfillment solutions to global and local brands.  

Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Klarna offers a wide range of products within payments, shopping and personal finances to make it easier for people to shop on and offline, including buy now pay later services, in-store payment solutions and a new direct-to-consumer shopping app. Today more than 85m consumers use Klarna, and the company partners with over 205,000 merchants in North America, the UK and Europe including H&M, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Adidas, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, Microsoft, ASOS, Peloton, Boohoo, Sonos, RayBan, Levi’s, Ticketmaster, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Nike. As part of the company’s recent $460M equity raise, Klarna was confirmed as the largest private fintech in Europe and as one of the largest private fintech globally.


Roland Schmid, Country Manager Westpay AB, Australia & NZ

Originally from Sweden, is a proactive, dedicated, and results-driven executive with over 30 years’ extensive experience managing companies, establishing new markets and start-ups. Wide experience working for companies such as H&M, Ahlgrens AB, Swedish Match AB, (Stockholm, Switzerland, The Netherlands & Australia). Came back to Sweden in 2008 and started Schmid’s Consulting. Joined Duni AB 2009 to 2011 as Retail Nordic Director to we decided to move back to Australia again. Since being back I have been in the payment industry (ATM’s) Hyosung Inc. and since 2017 consulting for Westpay AB (Eftpos) as Country Manager Australia. 

Westpay provides smart transaction- and payment solutions for merchant in-store as well as for the e-commerce and self-service markets. They offer a complete solution for all types of payments and for all kinds of applications within various industries, such as retail, hotels and restaurants and the retail banking sector.


Lance Blockley, Managing Director at The Initiatives Group and Ambassador Emerging Payments Association ASIA

Lance is a foundation Ambassador for the Emerging Payments Association Asia and assisted in getting the organisation established in 2018. He is also Managing Director of The Initiatives Group, a consulting firm specialising in payments. He has advised issuers, acquirers, third-party processors, technology providers and payment associations in addressing many of the financial sector’s most significant issues. He has over 35 years’ experience in senior management and consulting in the UK, USA, Asia and Australia. Lance has led the TIG consulting team on a number of industry-wide assignments, including the successful removal of signature (PIN@POS) on card payments in Australia in August 2014, the culmination of two and a half years work across multiple stakeholder groups. Lance led EPAA’s inaugural study tour in taking a group of payments professionals to Sweden in June 2019, in order to investigate how that country was progressing in going “cashless”. Lance holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England and an M.B.A. from IMD, Switzerland. He is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Chartered Management Institute (UK).

And to our moderator:

Camilla Bullock, Director General, Emerging Payment Association ASIA and a Member of the SACC Board

Camilla Bullock is the Co-Founder and Director at the Emerging Payments Association Asia, the only Pan APAC branch organisation for users and providers of payments technology.  Camilla is also the lead, and the Co-Founder behind the global project Meet-Her She Knows Payments which is a movement to narrow the gender thought leadership gap existing in the payments industry. 




Summary by Camilla Jennings, SACC

Contact us if you would like more information:

For event updates and information visit and follow us on Facebook I Linkedin I Twitter

“Don’t waste a good crisis” – SACC’s webinar on how business can use this time to review and renew their business model


On the 5th of May, SACC held the second webinar for members on the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on business and trade. Again, the webinar drew a large audience and the webinar focused on what businesses can do to use this time creatively and to look at their business model, innovate and ride through this crisis with renewed energy and review their business and identify new opportunities.

We were joined by Professor Glenn Wightwick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Technology Sydney, Jussi Ylinen, President Pacific Region for the Anticimex Group and CEO Flick Anticimex and Johan Nilsson, Business and Strategic Development at Constant Security Services, who generously shared their experience and ideas.


Jussi Ylinen from Flick Anticimex, began the conversation around innovation and crisis management with the importance of calming the organisation when the crisis is a fact. At Flick Anticimex, a crisis management team was set up early on in the crisis to ensure that all areas of the business were reviewed on a daily basis and that the organisation was able to tackle any arising matters swiftly and communicate effectively with both staff as well as customers.

Flick Anticimex’s global footprint has been helpful throughout this crisis as each market has followed what has happened in other markets and therefore been able to meet developments effectively. For example, they learned from their European market that their services previously used for pest control, was effectively re-purposed to disinfect areas as well and quickly they were able to extend their offering to their customers globally.

During this time, when it is not always possible to send out personnel to sites, technology is the solution and it has been widely used in their new offers to their customers. For example, their digitalised rodent service is giving customers the flexibility and ability to monitor areas remotely very effectively.


When a crisis hits, it is easy to get caught in issues management and only focusing on getting through the day but a crisis is also an excellent opportunity to expedite new project plans and spearhead innovation in an organisation.

“We are quite literally forced to innovate and to doing things in new and remarkable ways,” said Professor Glenn Wightwick.  At UTS, they welcome thousands of students to its campus every semester to mainly deliver classroom based education. In an extremely short timeframe, they had to completely review its business model and introduced online delivery of their courses. “Within a week we had to turn the business on its head,” he said.

Digital transformation is more or less a necessity for any business these days. Many organisations are recognising this time is an excellent opportunity to invest in skills development and now, when staff is not busy with frontline duties, organisations are expanding the breadth of skills that they will need in the future and embracing technologies such as AI and machine learning. “These six months are important to lay the foundations for digital skills and capabilities in organisations going forward” Professor Wightwick continued.


“The security industry is a reactive industry to start with and it is not the first time we have had to react to a large or problematic situation,” said Johan Nilsson of Constant Security. The new needs for safety and monitoring services that followed the crisis meant that the business needed to quickly react and by applying technology to the process, Constant Security was able to quickly re-train and re-deploy many of their staff.

Constant Security has also looked at how technology was already applied as part of their service and how it could be re-applied to new purposes responding to needs for large scale monitoring of public health.

As an example, drone technology currently used to progressively monitor the body temperature of large audiences at music festivals to prevent drug overdoses. The same technology and methodology can easily be applied to areas with dense people movements to pick up if there are individuals with increased body temperature and possibly developing an illness. Another example is how technology previously used by farmers to distribute pesticides over large areas, now also can be used to disinfect stadiums, shopping centres, car parks, or other large public areas.

This was the second webinar focussing on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and how businesses are navigating their way through this time. Next time, on the 11th of June, the theme for the webinar is a broader perspective looking at what we have learned from the crisis so far and what we will be able to take with us to the future.

By Moderator of the Webinar: Teresia Fors, Vice President of SACC


View the full video recording of this webinar here

Contact us if you would like more information:

For event updates and information visit and follow us on Facebook  I  Linkedin  I  Twitter