Former Swedish People’s Party chair Carl Haglund is to leave active politics for a position in the private sector with a Chinese bioenergy company looking to invest heavily in Kemi, northern Finland.
Haglund’s departure is the latest in a shake-up of the country’s parliament following party elections just over one week ago. The former party chair announced his decision to step down as leader back in March, clearing the way for party delegates to elect the SPP’s first ever female leader, Anna-Maja Henriksson earlier this month.
On Tuesday the Parliamentary Council agreed to accept Haglund’s resignation as a member of parliament. However he still requires the blessing of a full sitting of MPs before he can make his latest career move.
Haglund is to take up a position as deputy chief executive of the Chinese bioenergy firm Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, and will become a director responsible for the company’s European investment strategy.
His replacement on the SPP benches will be Kauniainen resident and architect Veronica Rehn-Kivi. She is also the current chair of the Kauniainen city council.
From MEP to MP, party leader and Defence Minister
As SPP chair, Haglund held the weighty portfolio of Defence Minister under premiers Jyrki Katainen and his successor Alexander Stubb from 2012 up to 2015, when the party went into opposition after general elections in April.
Prior to taking over the party and the ministerial post from Stefan Wallin, Haglund had served as a Member of the European parliament from 2009 to 2012.
Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group is a bioenergy firm with biogas refineries located across China and Vietnam. The company is valued at over seven billion euros and employs more than 8,000 workers.
In February this year the company said that it planned to invest one billion euros in a biofuel refinery in Kemi, northern Finland.