NEW DELHI: India and Sweden signed an Innovation Partnership Agreement to strengthen strategic collaboration a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Stockholm Monday evening on the first leg of his five-day three-nation tour.
The agreement involves cooperation in areas such as clean technology, waste management, innovation, renewable energy, skill and women’s development.
This is the first bilateral visit to a Nordic nation by an Indian Prime Minister after Rajiv Gandhi’s trip to Stockholm in 1988.
On Tuesday, Modi was received by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria, before he went in for official talks with his Sweden counterpart Stefan Löfven, who had received him at the airport the night before.
In a joint press statement after the talks, Modi said the two sides focused on “how Sweden can have a win-win partnership with India on the opportunities arising out of India’s development”
The PM noted that Sweden has been India’s partner in the defence sector from a long time and expressed hope that in future also there will be plenty of opportunities for bilateral cooperation in this area, particularly defence production.
The two sides also decided to encourage industry partners to develop supply chains for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with major Defence & Aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
Both leaders expressed their commitment to support and strengthen global export control, non-proliferation and disarmament objectives and looked forward to close cooperation in these areas.
Lofven expressed support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Supplier Group and welcomed the country’s recent accession to the international export control regimes, including to Australia Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Missile Technology Control Regime, and The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.
Both Prime Ministers called for greater unity and stronger international partnership to counter terrorism, disrupt terrorist networks and financing, and to prevent violent extremism.
After a reception at Stockholm City Hall by Mayor Karin Björnsdotter Wanngård, the two PMs participate in a roundtable discussion with over 30 CEOs of major Swedish firms, including Astrazeneca, Ikea, Saab and Volvo. Modi exhorted top them to invest in India and participate in flagship initiatives, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Later, Modi held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway before the first Nordic-Indian Summit and discussed ways to enhance ties with these Nordic countries in key areas such as trade and investment, and renewable energy.