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Modi meets Lofven: India, Sweden ink 2 pacts to boost ties; top 10 updates

Narendra Modi, Stefan LofvenPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had a “productive exchange” of views on bilateral and regional issues with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven and called on Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf. India and Sweden decided to strengthen their defence and security cooperation and agreed on an innovation partnership for a ‘win-win’ outcome.
In a joint press statement after his talks with the Swedish Prime Minister, Modi said they focused on how Sweden can help India in its development journey. The two sides have agreed on an innovation partnership and a Joint Action Plan, Modi said.
Modi further added that India and Sweden have agreed to strengthen their defence and security cooperation, including in areas of defence production and cybersecurity.On his part, Stefan Lofven lauded India as a “global power” and said the two countries are a “perfect match” and have agreed to work on a security agreement.Narendra Modi arrived in Sweden on Monday evening to a warm welcome on the first leg of his three-nation tour of Europe that will also see him going to Britain and Germany. He was welcomed by his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, who broke protocol to receive him at the airport. The two leaders travelled together in the same vehicle from the airport to the hotel.This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to Sweden in 30 years after Rajiv Gandhi’s visit in 1988.India and Sweden will also jointly organise the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on Tuesday. The summit will also be attended by the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.Modi is in Sweden on the first leg of his five-day foreign tour. He will travel to the United Kingdom (UK) tonight where he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), besides holding bilateral talks with his British counterpart Theresa May. He will also have a brief stopover in Berlin, Germany, on April 20, while on his way back home.Here are the top 10 developments of PM Modi’s two-day visit to Sweden:1. India, Sweden agree to strengthen cooperation on defence: India and Sweden will strengthen their cooperation on defence, Indian Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven said on Tuesday.“Sweden and India have agreed to work towards a security agreement allowing us to exchange certain types of classified information required to work together on defence materials,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said after meeting Mod in Stockholm, according to news agency Reuters. “This agreement would be an important step forward to deepen our bilateral cooperation in the defence domain.”2. Deal worth $15 billion may be signed: Last week, India issued a request for information for 110 combat jets for the air force, marking the first step toward a long-delayed deal that could be worth more than $15 billion.This move could aid Saab, a Swedish aerospace and defence company, in its bid to sell its Gripen jet to replace India’s Soviet-era MiG fighters. Saab had agreed to work with India’s Adani Group in a bid to sell single-engine planes to the air force, but India has since widened the brief to both single and twin-engined planes.

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3. Modi’s Make in India push: Lockheed Martin, Saab and Dassault Aviation are among the manufacturers expected to compete for India’s fighter order. The planes must be largely built locally as part of Narendra Modi’s Make in India drive to build a domestic industrial base.“In the area of defence, Sweden has been a partner of India for a very long time and I am sure that in the future as well, we will find more opportunities for cooperation, in particular in the area of defence production,” Modi said, reported Reuters.4. India, Sweden to deepen bilateral ties: In an endeavour to further deepen the bilateral ties between the two countries, Sweden said on Tuesday that the country will collaborate with India on its flagship schemes such as Make in India, Smart Cities Mission, Startup India and Digital India.Talking business at the City Hall! Exhorting top Swedish CEOs to invest in India and participate in our flagship initiatives, PM @narendramodi and @SwedishPM interacted with top business leaders at the Roundtable Meeting with Swedish CEOs in Stockholm.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) April 17, 2018
In a joint statement here, Stefan Lofven commended the Indian government for its strong focus on innovation and has termed the initiatives as keys to progress and prosperity for India.
5. Sweden to provide Rs 400 million to India for innovation: Speaking on innovation partnership between New Delhi and Stockholm, Lofven said, “Sweden will provide 50 million kronas (approximately Rs 400 million or Rs 40 crore) for innovation corporation with India for the Smart Cities project and for achieving sustainable development. This will also help to facilitate job creation.”Two documents were agreed to between India and Sweden following the delegation-level talks led by PM @narendramodi and @SwedishPM – Innovation Partnership and Joint Action Plan to maximise our bilateral cooperation for the benefit of our people.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) April 17, 20186. Cybersecurity also on agenda: Lofven said that a joint action plan has been signed between India and Sweden, wherein the two countries will set up common tasks on cybersecurity. They also agreed to cooperate on renewable energy, urban transport and waste management.7. Talks on free trade pact held: Lofven also spoke about the re-launching of the negotiations on investment protection and free trade under the European Union-India strategic partnership for improving the business climate between the two countries.8. Modi also met Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf: Earlier, Modi called on King Gustaf and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation across several sectors.“10 engagements in 10 hours- a hectic day begins for PM @narendramodi in Stockholm! Call on King of Sweden, bilateral meeting with @SwedishPM & 4 Nordic countries’ leaders, roundtable meeting with Swedish CEOs, call by Leader of Opposition, India-Nordic Summit and Community event,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.Royal start to the day! PM @narendramodi called on His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Leaders exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation across several sectors.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) April 17, 2018
9. Modi will leave for UK on Tuesday night: From Sweden, PM Modi will later travel to the UK where he will also attend the CHOGM, besides holding bilateral talks with his British counterpart Theresa May. Modi’s visit to the UK will focus on enhancing India-UK tech partnership.
“My visit to London presents another opportunity for both countries to infuse fresh momentum to this growing bilateral engagement. I will be focusing on enhancing India-UK partnership in the areas of healthcare, innovation, digitisation, electric mobility, clean energy, and cybersecurity,” Modi said, according to PTI.
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Source: Business Standard