President Pranab Mukherjee is the first Indian head of state in history to visit Sweden. He arrived over the weekend at the invitation of King Carl XVI Gustaf and was welcomed at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport by Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel before being given a ride in a horse-drawn cortege through the streets of the Swedish capital.
Ahead of his visit, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström posted a welcome video on YouTube, describing the president as a “very important global actor” at the helm of the world's fourth largest economy. She said that Sweden and India had enjoyed a “good cooperation” for many years and hoped for fruitful discussions on climate change, the environment and economic matters during his trip.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven met with President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, before the Indian statesman attended a lunch at Stockholm City Hall, where sustainable urban development was the focus of discussions. India and Sweden first established diplomatic relations back in 1949.
In the evening, the Indian president also attended a banquet with members of the royal family.
The royal guests at the dinner included Prince Carl Philip and his fiancee Sofia Hellqvist, who are getting married later this month.
Tuesday's theme was research and science, and included a visit to Swedish university Karolinska Institute, alongside guests including Minister for Higher Education and Research Helène Hellmark Knutsson, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf.
In the afternoon President Pranab Mukherjee attended seminars and meetings with Swedish and Indian business representatives.
Links between the two economies are growing steadily, with more than 150 Swedish companies currently established in India.
Sweden's export of goods to India in 2014 amounted to 10,377 million kronor, or 1 percent of the Scandinavian country's total exports. This makes India Sweden’s 20th most important market for exports of goods.
India's president was due to wrap up his visit by delivering a speech at Uppsala University, north of Stockholm.
All photos. TT