With respect to their mutual geographical position and the role they played in the system of international relations in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Sweden did not have much common points of interest and therefore not a great need for the establishment of direct diplomatic relations. Instead direct, the two countries have maintained bilateral relations over the missions in a third country and by occasionally sending delegations to the diplomatic missions of special character. Later on, the Kingdom of Serbia has opened two honorary consulates in this Scandinavian country whose work was mainly focused on the establishment and improvement of trading links and relations between the two countries. The first Serbian consulate in Sweden was opened in April 1900 in Stockholm. The duty of consul was entrusted to Ernst Hedin, director of the Swedish branch of the American insurance company “Gresham”. However, first traces of trade between the two countries were found in 1905, which means five years after Hedin came into his office.
Given the small balance of trade with Serbia, the Swedish Government launched the initiative in March 1907 for concluding trade contracts on the basis of the highest favored. The contract was signed in early April and became effective at the end of October of the same year. Around the same time, in the industrial city of Norrkoping another Serbian Honorary Consulate in Sweden was opened. On that occasion, the duty of the consul was entrusted to engineer Arthur Hultkvist, director of the local electric and tram company. Shortly thereafter, at the end of March 1908, Hedin was denied trust and, at the end of August, Carl Adam Carlson, director of the Workers’ Bank (Arbetareringens bank) in Stockholm, was appointed to his position. Unlike its predecessor, Karlson worked much better on the establishment of trade exchange between the two countries. Therefore, at the end of 1910, he was promoted to the position of honorary consul general.
On the other hand, in August 1911, the Kingdom of Sweden opened its general honorary consulate in Serbia led by a reputable parliamentary deputy and Belgrade merchant, David L. Simić. In the period after the conclusion of the trade agreement, although it was not a large-scale, trade between the two countries ranged upward. Serbia has placed on the Swedish market only one of its export product, prunes, while the Swedes mostly exported to Serbia nails for shoeing horses and agricultural machines. After the Balkan wars, Sweden has made visible efforts to increase its trade exchange with Serbia. Thus, in April 1914, the Chamber of Commerce (Kommerskollegium) awarded one of their special “export scholarship” to Erik Neuman, a Swedish engineer who has been permanently residing in Serbia since June 1909. After the Balkan wars, the Swedish Government decided to establish its direct diplomatic relations with Serbia on a non-residential basis. However the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914 prevented the full implementation of that intent.