Prime Minister of India recently visited Sweden and United Kingdom. Apart from bilateral visits to the two countries, PM attended the India-Nordic Summit and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sweden and United Kingdom respectively.
At the invitation of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of India undertook his first visit to Sweden. He had a number of meetings, including an audience with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden and consultations with Prime Minister Lofven. India Prime Minister addressed a gathering of select Swedish business leaders and will also meet the vibrant Indian community in Sweden.
India and Sweden share friendly bilateral ties and common views on major global issues. Sweden is India’s valued partner in trade, technology and investment. Over 170 Swedish companies have invested USD 1.4 billion since 2000. Around 70 Indian companies have invested in Sweden. India-Sweden annual bilateral trade stands at around USD 1.8 billion.
India and Sweden co-hosted the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on 17 April 2018. The India-Nordic Summit saw participation of the Prime Ministers of India and Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
India’s trade with the Nordic countries totalled around USD 5.3 billion in 2016-17, with Cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India at USD 2.5 billion. The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, port modernization, food processing, health, agriculture infrastructure, skill development and innovation which are also the focus areas of India’s development. These complementarities and the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries hold the potential to further boost trade and investment from both sides.
On the sidelines of the India-Nordic Summit, Prime Minister had separate bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
Bilateral Visit to the United Kingdom
Prime Minister visited the United Kingdom from 17-20 April for a bilateral visit and CHOGM. The visit focused on enhancing India-UK tech partnership. The India-UK CEOs Forum took place during this visit. UK formally conveyed their readiness to join the International Solar Alliance.
India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties. In 2004, the bilateral relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership. UK is among India’s major trading partners. The merchandise trade between the two countries in 2017 reached $13 billion, and trade in services is around US$7.2 billion. UK is the 4th largest inward investor in India with a cumulative equity investment of US $25.31 billion, accounting for around 7% of all foreign direct investment into India. India continued to be the third largest investor in the UK and emerged as the second largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 110,000 jobs in the UK.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London from April 19-20. The Meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government usually take place every two years and serve to shape the organization’s agenda for the next two years.
The Commonwealth is a multilateral organization known for its focus on the development issues that confront Small States and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of whom have deep historical and bilateral ties with India.