Prime Minister of Sweden His Excellency Stefan Lofven's visit to India for the Make in India Week in Mumbai from 13-14 February 2016

Prime Minister of Sweden His Excellency Stefan Löfven’s visit to India for the Make in India Week in Mumbai from 13-14 February 2016

Prime Minister of Sweden H.E. Stefan Löfven visited India on 13-14 February 2016, with the largest business delegation that he has led to any country. He was accompanied by a number of senior officials including the State Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Hans Dahlgren, State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Mr. Jan Salestrand and the State Secretary in the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Oscar Stenström. 

Prime Minister of India H.E. Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Löfven, along with the Prime Minister of Finland jointly inaugurated the Make in India Centre on 13th February. Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Löfven visited the Swedish pavilion, which was the largest foreign country pavilion in the Centre event.  Prime Minister Löfven and leading members of the Swedish business delegation participated thereafter in a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister of India for the visiting dignitaries and business leaders.

Prime Minister Löfven and the official delegation had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of India during which the two leaders discussed the areas that held the highest potential for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. The Joint Statement released after the meeting, titled ‘New Momentum, Higher Ambition’ (available at the website of the Indian Embassy in Swedenwww.indianembassy.seand the Ministry of External Affairs www.mea.gov.in) enumerates the points discussed by the two leaders and the steps they agreed to take to strengthen the relations between the two countries. These include the following:

  1. They welcomed the creation of an India-Sweden Business Leader Round Table during the visit.
  2. They endorsed the creation of a new Joint Working Group on Digital Technologies and Economy.
  3. They took note of the synergies in the field of innovation and Prime Minister Löfven extended an invitation to Indian delegation to visit Sweden for a bilateral Sweden-India Innovation Dialogue.
  4. They acknowledged the potential for successful collaboration in defence and agreed that under the rubric of Make in India, cooperation possibilities between their respective defence industries could be identified and taken forward appropriately, including in the field of aviation.
  5. Both sides recognized that enhancing awareness of each other’s cultures boosts people-to-people ties and welcomed reciprocal festivals of ‘Namaste Stockholm’ in Sweden and Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week in India.
  6. Both Prime Ministers agreed to a deeper bilateral dialogue on UN Issues at both capital and UN-Mission-level.  They reiterated the need for urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council through an expansion in both categories of membership, to make it more effective and representative of the contemporary geo-political realities.
  7. Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India’s support for Sweden’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2017-18.
  8. In their joint efforts to strengthen global non-proliferation and disarmament objectives, India and Sweden committed to work towards India’s further participation in the multilateral export control regimes.
  9. The two Prime Ministers agreed on the need to continue and step up efforts to ensure gender equality, respect for women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment of women and girls in all sphere of life.

The packed programme of Prime Minister Löfven on 13th February included an address at the inauguration of the Make in India Week in Mumbai and in the country’s seminar on Sweden.

On 14th February, Prime Minister Löfven and Finance Minister of India H.E. Arun Jaitley addressed a Round Table of Sweden and Indian CEOs, to be led by Mr. Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman, SEB and Mr. Baba Kalyani, CMD, Bharat Forge Ltd. Nearly 30 Indian CEOs participated in the meeting , representing diverse sectors while from the Swedish side, besides the senior leadership from about 20 companies, Director Generals and CEOs from key agencies such as Vinnova, Swedish Energy Agency, Swedish Post & Telecom Authority, Swedish Export Credit Corporation, Swedish National Export Credit Guarantees Board and Swedfund also participated.

Prime Minister Löfven also met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the two dignitaries witnessed the handing over of the first Volvo Hybrid Bus to the Navi Mumbai Municipality.  Prime Minister Löfven extended an invitation to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to visit Sweden.

Prime Minister Löfven proceeded to Pune in the afternoon of 14th February. Pune has had the privilege of hosting a large number of Swedish companies and Prime Minister Löfven visited two of the leading Swedish companies which have been making in India for several years: Ericsson and Tetrapak.

While Prime Minister Löfven returned to Stockholm from Pune, State Secretary for Enterprise & Innovation Mr. Oscar Stenström and members of the Swedish business delegation had meetings on 14th and 15th February with the Minister of Communications & Information Technology Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Mr. Nitin Gadkari and the Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Mr. Anant Geete. They also had a round table with Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) Mr. Amitabh Kant and the incoming Secretary (DIPP Mr. Ramesh Abhishek who takes over his position next month. On 15th February, State Secretary for Defence Mr. Jan Salestrand had a meeting with the Minister for Defence Mr. Manohar Parrikar.

The Governments of India and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector. The MoU was signed on 15 February 2016 in India by Mr. Girish Pillai, Adviser (Infrastructure), Ministry of Railways of India, and Mr. Oscar Strenström, State Secretary, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of Sweden

This visit has further enhanced the momentum and substance that had been imparted to India-Sweden relations by the landmark state visit of the President of India to Stockholm in May 2015.

Prime Minister Löfven has invited Prime Minister Modi to visit Sweden on mutually convenient dates, to be determined hrough diplomatic channels.