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What's on the agenda for Sweden-India relations in 2024?

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
What's on the agenda for Sweden-India relations in 2024?
A dance troupe performs at the Namaste Stockholm festival in 2023. Photo: Rana Pratap Photography

From ministerial visits to factory openings, from the start of the cricket season to classical music recitals, here's what's on the agenda for Sweden-India relations in 2024.


When Sweden's prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, launched the India-Sweden Industry Transition Partnership at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai in December, it was yet another sign of the growing economic and political links between the two countries.

The roughly 65,000 Indians working and studying in Sweden are increasingly making their mark culturally, arranging festivals and events, and taking part in the social scene in Sweden's cities. 

Indian consultancies like Wipro, TCS, HCL, Infosys and Tech Mahindra are rapidly establishing themselves, while Indian giants like Tata Steel, Aditya Birla Group and Bharat Forge have bought up historic Swedish industrial companies like Surahammars Bruk, Domsjö Fabriker, and Imatra Kilsta.

At the same time, India has become the prime investment destination and target market for Swedish companies as they seek to diversify away from China.

"When we investigate how Swedish companies see the business climate in different countries, it's very obvious that India is a country where many Swedish companies are seeing an extremely positive outlook," Cecilia Oskarsson, trade commissioner at Sweden's embassy in Delhi, told The Local.

"India is where most Swedish companies anticipate that they will be, where they will make investments in the coming years."

Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson meets his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the COP28 summit in Dubai. Photo: Indian Ministry of Extrernal Affairs

Here's what's on the agenda. 


Sweden's foreign minister, Tobias Billström, will be attending India's biggest foreign policy conference, the Raisina Dialogue, which is held between February 21st and February 24th. 

Billström will also take part in an event discussing Sweden's partnership with India on the green transition, which is being run by Business Sweden, Sweden's trade promotion agency. 


Håkan Jevrell, Sweden's state secretary for foreign trade, will be visiting India for the third time in just one and a half years in March. 

Saab is set to start construction of a new factory in India, where it will produce the shoulder-launched Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system for the Indian armed forces. Saab is the first global defence company to be approved by the Indian government for 100 percent foreign direct investment for a manufacturing facility.

Two delegations of Swedish universities to India are being planned this spring by the Swedish embassy's Office of Science and Innovation (OSI) in New Delhi, one focusing on Life Science and the other on collaborations in the social sciences, humanities and economics. 



The Indian election is expected to be held around the middle of the year, probably in May. Indian ministers are likely to delay visiting Sweden until the election is over and the new government is in place.

India currently does not offer Indian citizens who are abroad the possibility of voting at embassies, and postal voting is generally restricted to government employees and members of the armed forces stationed abroad. 

The Swedish cricket league will start its 2024 cricket series on May 30th, with India supplying many of the teams' most dexterous batsmen and bowlers. 



The UN International Day of Yoga will hold its 10th anniversary on June 21st. The Indian embassy in Stockholm will hold an open air yoga session on Riddarholmen, the islet off Stockholm's Gamla Stan old town. Indian associations in cities across Sweden will hold their own events, as will many of Sweden's yoga centres. 

For the fourth year running, India will host a series of talks titled Engaging India at Almedalen at the Almedalen political festival between June 25th and 28th. In 2023, the talks were held at the Visby town library. 


The Namaste Stockholm event run by India Unlimited takes over Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm at the start of September, with music and dance performances put on primarily by Indians living and working in Sweden, a food court serving food from across India and more besides. 

India Unlimited also runs the India Sweden Innovation Day, which will take place in Stockholm "in the autumn", with dates yet to be set. 


The Durga Puja festival is celebrated with events in all of Sweden's major cities, with at least two events in Stockholm, and celebrations in Helsingborg, Gothenburg, Uppsala and even as far north as Luleå.  

The Stockholm Sangeet Festival, Sweden's leading Indian classical music event, typically takes place at the start of October, with performances at theatres and other venues in central Stockholm. In 2023, top Indian classical performers, such as Hassan Haider Khan, Vidushi Mita Nag and Subhen Chatterjee, took part. 

The India Sweden Baltic Business Conclave, hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, will be held in New Delhi in the last three months of the year. 

The Diwali festival falls this year on October 31st, with events held by Indian associations and temples in all of Sweden's major cities. 


Events which will happen at some point 

Negotiations are ongoing on the EU-India free trade agreement. When talks resumed in 2022, the aim was for a deal to be reached before the Indian and EU elections in June 2024. Sweden, with its open, export-oriented economy is seen by India as one of the European countries most in favour of a far-reaching, ambitious deal. 

A Swedish space delegation is likely to visit the offices of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore, following the visit of an Indian delegation to the Swedish space industry around Kiruna in 2023. 

The visit would allow companies that are part of Sweden's thriving space start-up scene to sell their services to India's space industry, which recently opened up to the private sector.

A third Indo-Nordic Summit between India's prime minister and the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries may be held again, following the second summit in Copenhagen in May 2022, but is unlikely to take place until well into the second half of the year.     

Business Sweden hopes to arrange a delegation of Indian mining companies, such as NMDC, Tata Steel, Vedanta Resources and Hindustan Zinc to Sweden, where they will meet Swedish suppliers of equipment and technology, such as Epiroc, Sandvik, and Volvo Construction Equipment, and visit mines around Kiruna in Lapland.


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