COPENHAGEN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson here on Wednesday and the two leaders discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties, the progress in the Joint Action Plan and exchanged views on regional and global developments.
"Cementing ties with Sweden. PM @narendramodi and @SwedishPM Magdalena Andersson held extensive talks on further diversifying the India-Sweden friendship," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
Modi, who arrived here on Tuesday from Berlin on the second leg of his visit to three European nations, met Andersson on the sidelines of the second India-Nordic Summit in the Danish capital. This was the first meeting between the two leaders.
"A partnership founded on innovation, technology & investment. PM @narendramodi held bilateral talks with @SwedishPM Magdalena Andersson. Took stock of the progress in the Joint Action Plan. Appreciated the expanding scope of the jointly launched LeadIT initiative," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
During the 2018 visit of Prime Minister Modi to Sweden, the two sides adopted a wide-ranging Joint Action Plan to take forward a wide range of initiatives in defence, trade and investment, renewable energy, smart cities, women's skill development, space and science and healthcare etc.
The two sides had also signed a Joint Innovation Partnership. "Discussions also took place on regional and global developments," the MEA said in a press release.
Modi's visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.
"In today's meeting, the two leaders reviewed the progress made in our bilateral partnership. They also expressed satisfaction at the progress made by the Lead IT initiative," the MEA said.
This was a India-Sweden joint global initiative to set up a Leadership Group on Industry Transition (LeadIT) in September 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit to help guide the world's heaviest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting industries towards the low-carbon economy.
Its membership has now grown to 35 with 16 countries and 19 companies, it said.
"Both leaders also discussed possibilities of deepening cooperation in areas like innovation, climate technology, climate action, green hydrogen, space, defence, civil aviation, Arctic, polar research, sustainable mining and trade and economic ties," the release added.
India and Sweden have had longstanding close relations based on common values; strong business, investment and R&D linkages; and similar approaches to global peace, security and development.
Innovation, Technology, Investment and R&D collaborations provide the bedrock of this modern relationship.
Modi would also attend the 2nd India-Nordic Summit along with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway where they will take stock of the cooperation since the First India-Nordic Summit in 2018.
"Today's agenda includes the India-Nordic Summit and bilateral talks with Nordic leaders after which I will leave for Paris to hold talks with President @EmmanuelMacron," Modi tweeted before starting his engagements for the day.
Briefing the media on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra had said that the India-Nordic summit focuses on the elements of bilateral cooperation which essentially fall into three to four major clusters - trade and investment ties; the digital and innovation partnership; the green partnership; and other areas of economic cooperation.
"Nordic countries are important partners for India in sustainability, renewable energy, digitisation and innovation. The visit will help in expanding our multifaceted cooperation with the Nordic region," Modi had said earlier.
India's trade with Nordic countries stands at over USD 5 billion (2020-21) and a cumulative FDI of over USD 3 billion (April 2000- March 2021).