Maharashtra Delegation's visit to Sweden on 15-16 April 2015 promotes 'Make in India' - Make in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Delegation's visit to Sweden on 15-16 April 2015 promotes 'Make in India' - Make in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Delegation's visit to Sweden on 15-16 April 2015 promotes 'make in India-Make in Maharashtra' Chief Minister of Maharashtra, H.E. Mr. Devendra Fadnavis led a five member delegation to Stockholm on April 15-16, 2015. The delegation included, among others, the noted Indian industrialist Mr Baba Kalyani, CEO of Bharat Forge(which owns a facility in Sweden), Secretary (Industries) of the state Mr.Apurva Chandra and MD of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Mr. Bhushan Gagrani.

The Chief Minister and his delegation first visited the SAAB aircraft manufacturing facility in Linkoping. In Stockholm, their first port of call was the IKEA store at Barkarby where they were given a briefing on how IKEA works in close collaboration with the local community and how it benefits them beyond just providing an affordable range of high quality home products. Mr. Juvencio Maeztu, CEO of IKEA India briefed the delegation about the company's plans in India. IKEA has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maharashtra Government and plans to have a strong presence in the state which contributes the most to India's GDP.

A Business Seminar on "Make in Maharashtra - New Opportunities for Swedish companies" was arranged by the Embassy under the India Unlimited platform at the Hotel Sheraton, which was attended by over 100 representatives of Swedish and Indian companies. In her opening remarks, Ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison set the agenda by briefly describing Maharashtra State's special connection with Sweden as the state where the maximum number of Swedish companies are present for many decades. She recalled that Pune was the city where the Swedish companies went when they responded to the invitation to invest in India which India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru issued during his 1957 visit to Sweden. Ambassador made a brief presentation on "Make in India". She highlighted that, as pointed out by Prime Minister Modi when he launched the programme in September 2014,India is the only country in the world where one can find the advantages of three Ds - Democracy, Demand and Demography. She added, "The success of
India's Mars Mission in the first launch at one-tenth of the cost of NASA proves that India is a country for making high quality products at affordable prices and not just basic items at cheap prices."

MD of MIDC, Mr. Bhushan Gangrani showed a short film driving home the reasons why Maharashtra should be the preferred destination for foreign investors. He then elaborated on some of Maharashtra's strengths viz., land, electricity, water, connectivity, and availability of technically trained manpower.

The next speaker, Mr. Sunil Puri, Vice President of Sandvik, which already has a strong presence in India, made a power point presentation on the company's activities in different sectors viz., mining, S&T, safety material technology, construction, venture in making specialized equipment and machining solutions. He informed the audience that the Maharashtra Government has allotted 213538 land for Sandvik near Pune for their new factory for assembling of mining construction equipment, global R&D,metal cutting tools and this factory would be in operation by August 2016.He thanked the Chief Minister for setting up of Maharashtra Industry Trade and Investment Facilitation Cell (MAITRI) which was doing an excellent job.

Mr. Baba Kalyani, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Forge spoke next.He said that India's GDP was set to go up from 2 trillion dollars to 6.5 trillion dollar by 2025, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. He forecast that India will exceed the GDP of Germany and Japan in 2025. He spoke about the potential for India to become even more technologically advanced and the contribution that Swedish companies could make towards this. He mentioned defence as a priority area where India wants to be as self-dependant as possible and hoped that Swedish companies would enhance their presence in India in this sector.

The Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai, Ms Frederika Ornbrant was the next speaker. She said that are already around 50-60 Swedish companies present in Maharashtra. According to her, the reason for Swedish companies to prefer Maharashtra was the presence of a cluster of Swedish companies, opportunities to exchange experiences, availability of experienced skilled labour, an international business environment, proximity to clients and last but not the least, good schools for the children. She told the audience that healthcare and smart cities were priority areas for India and there are many opportunities for Swedish companies dealing with transport, energy and waste handling. She told the audience that Business Sweden has offices all around India and they would extend all possible help to Swedish companies that wanted to invest in India.

In his closing address, Chief Minister Fadnavis began by telling the audience that Maha means big and Rashtra means country, thus Maharashtra is a big country within a great country. He said that Maharashtra was the engine for the growth of the nation as it has the biggest economy among its states. Thus if India has to grow at the rate of 8% then Maharashtra has to grow at the rate of 10%. He told the spell-bound audience that Maharashtra accounts for 15% to the national GDP, 30% of entire exports of India and 30% of FDI. He praised Prime Minister Modi's initiative of "Make in India" and said that the state Government has started the initiative of "Make in Maharashtra" to support this national programme. As a first major step towards making it easier for foreign companies to do business in Maharashtra, his Government has established a 'single window system' whereby assistance is given for getting land, electricity, water and all necessary clearances by a single point of contact. His Government wanted to make the whole FDI process hassle-free, without the investors having to run from pillar to post.He gave examples of changes that the Maharashtra government made in some outdated regulations to facilitate a major investment. He informed the audience that the state was now looking at the labour laws and consulting all stake holders to bring in needed amendments.

A lively Q&A concluded the session.As a surprise end to the seminar, a Maharashtrian folk dance was performed by Ms. Wahida Zennath, which enchanted the audience.The Ambassador said that the Embassy had organized this energetic performance to demonstrate the inherent vigour and dynamism of the state.

Later in the evening Ambassador hosted a dinner in honour of the Maharashtra Chief Minister at the India House which was attended by over 30 CEOs and senior executives of Swedish and Indian companies.

On April 16, the Chief Minister and his delegation had a breakfast meeting with the leading Swedish industrialist, Mr. Marcus Wallenberg, who is the Chairman of the Board of one of the largest banks in Sweden which has large shares in a number of major Swedish companies including Ericsson, SKF, SAAB etc. They discussed the potential for further investments in Maharashtra.

Arrival of Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Devendra Fadnavis to Sweden

Visit of Maharashtra Delegation to IKEA

Panel of the seminar; Maharashtra - From Sveanagar to Svealand