Swedish business sees investment, JV opportunities in India

Swedish business sees investment, JV opportunities in India

Mumbai: The Swedish industry is exploring new opportunities for business partnerships and collaborations in India.

A Swedish industry delegation led by the country’s trade commissioner Fredrik Fexe, and representing some 20 top companies in sectors such as construction, power, engineering, health care and chemicals, among others, is visiting India scouting for partners.

“Our industry has now realized that it is missing a lot of opportunities by not investing in India. More than 100 companies from Sweden are now interested to invest here in the next three to four years," Fexe said, anticipating the current round of talks to result in an investment of €150 million (Rs840 crore), including new manufacturing plants by companies such as Atlas Copco India Ltd, SKF India Ltd, and Huntleigh Healthcare India Pvt. Ltd, already present in India. India is the world’s second fastest growing major economy after China.

Scania AB, a maker of heavy trucks and buses; Volvo Group, the heavy engineering, auto and construction equipment giant; defence equipment major BAE Systems SWS Defence AB; ventilation products firm Systemair AB; mining and metals engineering giant Sandvik AB; and SEB Group, a financial services powerhouse, among others, are part of the delegation.

The delegation has had talks with Indian majors such as Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd, DLF Group and a few other corporate houses. The Swedish companies, which are also interested in infrastructure projects such as the Worli sea link in Mumbai and urban road development in Delhi, held discussions with top officials in Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as well as Delhi Development Authority.

The defence equipment giant BAE Systems, while scouting for manufacturing partners for land defence systems in India, has initiated dialogues with engineering majors such as Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Tata Power Co. Ltd and Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

“We expect at least a dozen new business collaborations (joint ventures, manufacturing partnerships and equity investment) coming up from these talks," said Fexe, adding that the interest in India marked a change from the country’s China focus of the last two decades.

Last week, the trade council of Sweden launched the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, an association of Swedish business organizations, in India with the primary objective to promoting and stimulating growth of Swedish companies here. Sweden’s ambassador to India Lars-Olof Lindgren said last week that the trade between his country and India was at an all-time high now at some $1.8 billion: exports to India worth $1.4 billion and the rest in imports from here.

The Swedish industry is dominated by firms in information technology and telecom services, construction, chemical industry and automotive industry.