New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sweden and the UK between 16-20 April for bilateral meetings with the two key European countries as well as two multilateral summits -- the India-Nordic Summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Modi will arrive in Stockholm on 16 April, and the bilateral engagements include an audience with King Carl XVI Gustaf and talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Modi will also address Swedish business leaders and members of the Indian community.
“India and Sweden share friendly bilateral ties and common views on major global issues. Sweden is India’s valued partner in trade, technology and investment. Over 170 Swedish companies have invested $1.4 billion since the year 2000. Around 70 Indian companies have invested in Sweden. India-Sweden annual bilateral trade stands at around $1.8 billion," the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
On 17 April, India and Sweden will co-host the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm that will be attended by Modi and the prime ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
India’s trade with Nordic countries totalled around $5.3 billion in 2016-17, with cumulative foreign direct Investment to India standing at $2.5 billion.
“The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, port modernization, food processing, health, agriculture infrastructure, skill development and innovation which are also the focus areas of India’s development. These complementarities and the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries hold the potential to further boost trade and investment from both sides," the Indian statement said.
On the sidelines of the India-Nordic Summit, Modi will have bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
On the second leg of his visit to Europe, Modi will visit the United Kingdom from 17-20 April.
The bilateral element of the visit to the United Kingdom “will focus on enhancing India-UK tech partnership. The visit will see a number of deliverables in the area of skill development, healthcare, cyber security, innovation, traditional medicine, and education. The India-UK CEOs Forum will also take place during this visit," the statement said.
The United Kingdom is among India’s major trading partners. The merchandise trade between the two countries in 2017 reached $13 billion, and trade in services is around $7.2 billion. The United Kingdom is the fourth largest inward investor in India with a cumulative equity investment of $25.31 billion, accounting for around 7% of all foreign direct investment into India.
India is the third largest investor in the United Kingdom and emerged as the second largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 110,000 jobs.
On 19-20 April, Modi will participate in the CHOGM in London. “The Commonwealth is a multilateral organization known for its focus on the development issues that confront Small States and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of whom have deep historical and bilateral ties with India," the Indian statement added.