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NEW DELHI : India and Sweden can deepen their bilateral partnership with increased collaboration in areas like smart cities, e-mobility, smart grids and waste management, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, as he invited more Swedish companies to invest in Asia’s third largest economy.

A joint statement issued after a virtual summit between Modi and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven said that Modi had invited Swedish defence firms to participate in the Make in India programme, especially in the two defence production corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Briefing reporters on the discussions between the two prime ministers, Secretary West in the Indian foreign ministry Vikas Swarup said New Delhi was aware of Swedish company SAAB offering to move its Gripen fighter aircraft production line to India. SAAB has made this offer against the backdrop of India putting out a tender for the acquisition of 114 fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The Gripen—a fourth generation plus fighter jet—is one of the contenders for the deal along with companies from the US and France.

The summit between the two prime ministers was their fifth interaction since 2015.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Modi said India and Sweden could “further our relationship in innovation, technology, investment, start-ups and research."

The prime minister also identified climate change as a priority for both the countries together on.

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