STOCKHOLM: I ndia and Sweden today agreed to deepen their collaboration through a strategic innovation partnership for a 'win-win" outcome and strengthen defence and security cooperation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed a host of issues with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven.
The two leaders had a "fruitful discussion on issues related to cooperation in innovation, trade & investment, culture and exchanged views on regional and multilateral cooperation at the delegation-level talks," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Two documents were agreed to between India and Sweden following the delegation-level talks -- Innovation Partnership and Joint Action Plan -- to maximise bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the people.
In a joint press statement after the talks, Prime Minister Modi said the two sides focused on how Sweden can help India in its development journey.
"Sweden has been a strong supporter of 'Make in India' initiative from the beginning. Prime Minister Lofven had participated in our 'Make in India' programme in 2016 along with a big business delegation," Modi said.
"I believe that the most important topic in our talks today was how Sweden can have a win-win partnership with India on the opportunities arising out of India's development. As a result, we have agreed on an innovation partnership and a joint action plan," he said.
He said innovation, investment, start-ups, manufacturing etc.are the key aspects of cooperation between India and Sweden.
"Along with them, we are also giving importance to areas such as renewable energy, urban transport, waste management, that our connected with the quality of life of the people in India," Modi added.
Modi said India and Sweden have also agreed to strengthen their defence and security cooperation.
"A key pillar of our bilateral ties is our defence and security cooperation. In the defence sector, Sweden has been India's partner from a long time. I have faith that in future also in this sector, particularly in defence production, there will be plenty of opportunities for bilateral cooperation. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation in the security sector, particularly in cyber security."
Modi also said India and Sweden will continue their close cooperation on the international stage.
On his part, Swedish Prime Minister Lofven lauded India as "global power" and said the two countries are a "perfect match".
He said there has been an intensification of cooperation in areas such as green technology and smart cities.
A Joint Declaration on Sweden-India Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future said, "the innovation partnership represents a step-change in India-Sweden science and innovation collaboration, underpinning our mutual commitment to drive prosperity and address global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development through innovation."
The partnership sets the framework for future cooperation to jointly tackle societal challenges including innovation driven challenges on cross sectoral issues with multi-stakeholder/agency participation from both countries, it said.
It will cover co-operation across a wide spectrum, from the creation of effective innovation systems to the commercialisation of new technologies, the declaration added.
"The partnership will deepen the long and fruitful relations between our countries, building upon the Joint Statement between our Prime Ministers issued in Mumbai 2016 and the Joint Action Plan agreed in Stockholm in 2018," it said.
The partnership covers several areas, including smart cities, transportation and eMobility, energy, clean technologies, new materials, space, circular and bio-based economy, and health and life sciences.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi called on Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation across several sectors.
Modi arrived here in the capital of Sweden yesterday, the first bilateral visit by an Indian premier to the Nordic nation in 30 years.
Swedish Prime Minister Lofven received Modi at the airport last night.
the Two leaders travelled together in the same vehicle from the airport to the hotel.
Modi is here on the first leg of his five-day foreign tour which will also take him to the UK where he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
He will also have a brief stopover in Berlin, Germany, on April 20 while on his way back home.