India, Sweden ink joint action plan, innovation partnership

Frederick Owens
April 19, 2018

In the meeting of the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven defence and security dominated discussions between both the countries. "India is aiming for an unprecedented economic transformation, including manufacturing as well as in digital development and Sweden has many innovative and sustainable solutions to offer". There are excellent opportunities for cooperation in the fields of smart cities, clean technology, universal housing, renewable energy, e-mobility, start-up, waste disposal, and many others with an objective of creating jobs and sustainable development for the people in India.

Innovation was front and centre in the bilateral summit today, with a separate discussion focused entirely on this area, and the outcome being a joint declaration on a Sweden-India Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future, which built upon the joint statement between the two Prime Ministers in Mumbai in 2016. India and Sweden signed an agreement for a strategic innovation partnership. They will also "proceed with India-Sweden defence seminars in India and Sweden in 2018-19 and explore, together with the ISBLRT, opportunities for investment in Defence Production Corridors in India", "encourage industry partners to develop supply chains for small and medium sized enterprises with major Defence & Aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers".

"Defence and security is an important pillar of our bilateral relationship", Modi said in his address to the media. Details of the bilateral cooperation in the defence sector also find mention in the "Sweden India Joint Action Plan" statement drafted during the visit. Modi also said India and Sweden will continue their close cooperation on the global stage.

Modi signed off in Sweden with an address to the Indian diaspora at Stockholm University before winging to the UK.

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Enhance Indo-Swedish dialogue on defence cooperation. The last visit to Sweden was by Rajiv Gandhi in 1988.

However, others who are not protesting, but hoping to raise the issue of the rapes and wider violence against women with the Prime Minister, say they have been subject to abuse and intimidation ahead of the visit. "Met a group of leading Swedish CEOs at the roundtable in Stockholm", Modi tweeted after he and Premier Lofven interacted with top Swedish business leaders.

After the Summit PM Modi embarked on his visit to United Kingdom (UK) to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. He will also have a brief stopover in Berlin, Germany, on April 20 while on his way back home.

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