Indian PM Modi in Sweden for Nordic summit

Indian PM Modi in Sweden for Nordic summit
Stefan Löfven and Narendra Modi. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Sweden for a summit with Nordic leaders.

Modi touched down in Sweden on Monday for the two-day visit to Stockholm, where the signing of a new innovation partnership agreement is one of the items on the agenda.

“Landed in Stockholm. I thank Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for the warm welcome at the airport,” tweeted Modi. The Indian leader also attempted a brave tweet of the same message in Swedish, which took a liberal approach to when you are supposed to dot the Os and the As in Swedish (we also find it confusing).

Modi met King Carl XVI Gustaf on Tuesday morning, followed by talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and discussions with Sweden's Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg and business leaders at Stockholm City Hall later in the day. Innovation and sustainable development is top of the agenda.

Löfven announced at a joint press conference on Tuesday afternoon that Sweden would allocated 50 million kronor to an “innovation partnership” with India. He listed a number of sustainable “modern solutions” his country had to offer, including smart cities, green tech and innovation.

The Swedish PM also said that Sweden and India would work towards a security agreement, including cyber security, that would allow the countries to exchange intelligence information.

A Nordic-Indian summit will take place in the evening with the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Modi and Löfven. It is unusual for the leaders of all five Nordic countries to hold a summit with one country, with the last such occurrence in 2016 in Washington DC with then-US President Barack Obama.

It is the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Sweden in almost 30 years. President Pranab Mukherjee visited in 2015.

In the evening, Modi is set to give a speech in Hindi to the Indian diaspora in Sweden at Stockholm University.

Sweden has been on a charm offensive towards India recently, supporting Modi's “Make-in-India” manufacturing summit with Löfven leading a delegation of Swedish industry leaders to the launch event in 2016.

India is also an increasingly important market for Sweden, with more than 160 Swedish companies now established in the country, including Ikea and H&M which are both expanding there.


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