This paper aims to explore how Swedish industrial SMEs come into contact with their East Asian business partners, and to see whether this differs from how contacts are made with business partners in other regions. A study of the international business relationships of 16 Swedish industrial SMEs was carried out, generating information on a total of 721 relationships, 84 of which were with East Asian partner firms, The findings indicate that in the case of outward for selling relationships, the Swedish firms rarely sought out their East Asian business partners. Instead. they typically became involved in such relations only after would-be East Asian partners approached the Swedish firms or when a third party brought the Swedish and East Asian firms together. The findings also indicate that the level of proactivily displayed by the Swedish firms in regard to forming outward business relationships in East Asia was lower than for other regions. Since very few inward (buying) relationships were identified, no conclusions could be drawn in regard to this aspect of internationalisation.