MANILA – The Philippine Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden reopened eight years after it was closed, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Friday night.

The DFA said the foreign post would start offering consular services to Filipinos in Sweden and Finland.

"The reopening of the embassy, which also has jurisdiction over Finland, is the result of the efforts of the landing team, which arrived in Sweden in late 2019," it said in a statement.

The team was led by Consul General and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Raul Dado, who previously served as consul general at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

The embassy was closed in 2012 due to "economic constraints". After the closure, the Philippines was represented by Honorary Consul General to Stockholm Erik Belfrage, who recently passed away due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

"With the present increasing economic opportunities between the Philippines and the Nordic countries, which include Sweden, the reestablishment of the Philippine Embassy allows greater exploration of trade and investment opportunities in both Sweden and Finland," the DFA said.

Philippine-Swedish relations, established in 1947, was one of the earliest bilateral diplomatic ties entered into by the Philippines after the Second World War.

Sweden has since been a development partner of the Philippines. In 2016, it reopened its embassy in Manila after shutting it down in 2008.

Sweden ranks as the Philippines' 43rd largest trading partner and is home and place of work to some 15,000 overseas Filipinos employed as health workers, engineers, mining professionals, administrative staff, and those in fashion, culinary, service, and related industries.

On the other hand, more than 4,000 Filipinos work in similar occupations in Finland.

Consular services were previously rendered through the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway.

With this reopening in Stockholm, consular applications, which include passport extensions, visa, and civil registry, among others, will be received and processed in the Swedish capital following a limited twice-weekly schedule starting this May, the DFA said.

Passport renewals, however, will still be done at the Philippine Embassy in Oslo.

Due to the pandemic, precautionary measures will be in place and appointments for slots will have to be requested via e-mail through [email protected] or by phone via +46-7253-5407.

The Philippine Embassy in Stockholm is located on the 4th Floor of Regus Building, 29 Olof Palmesgata 111 22 Stockholm, Sweden, with contact numbers +46 702 735 407, +63 9054039435 (Viber) and e-mail address [email protected] (PNA)