Defense and security dominated discussions between India and Sweden as both countries signed agreements to begin a strategic innovation partnership, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Swedish PM Stefan Lofven in Stockholm.
MEA spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said, the two leaders had a “fruitful discussion on problems related to cooperation in innovation, trade and investment, culture and exchanged views on regional and multilateral cooperation at the delegation-level talks.”
Modi said after the talks, “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.”
Two documents were signed between India and Sweden following the delegation-level talks- Innovation Partnership and a 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 starting. 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.
Along with innovation, investment, start-ups, manufacturing, Modi said India and Sweden are focusing on “renewable energy, urban transport, waste management, that are connected with the quality of life of the people in India,” Modi added.
Describing the India-Sweden relationship as a “perfect match” Lofven said there was a greater focus on 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.”
It will cover co-operation across a wide spectrum, from the creation of effective innovation systems to the commercialisation of new technologies, the document said. “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 before heading to talks with Lofven. This evening Modi will participate in the India-Nordic summit, being held for the first time. Modi’s visit is the first by an Indian PM in almost 30 years.
As has now become the global trend, Lofven received Modi at the airport last night. the Two leaders travelled together in the same vehicle from the airport to the hotel.