Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin his three-nation tour to Sweden, United Kingdom and Germany today. The Prime Minister will also be participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on April 19th and 20th. The Prime Minister will begin his tour by first visiting Sweden on April 16th and 17th. This will be PM Modi’s first visit to Sweden. He will be meeting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on the evening of April 16th. The next day will be followed by a number of bilateral agreements on trade, security and defence. India and Sweden will also hold their first ever India-Nordic Summit on April 17th. The summit will also see the participation of four other Nordic countries, i.e, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
Apart from holding the bilateral talks with the Nordic countries and signing of several bilateral agreements, PM Modi will also interact with top business leaders of both countries to chart out a roadmap of cooperation on trade and development. The meet will especially boost India’s defence ties with Sweden. With RFI issued by the Indian Air Force for the procurement of 110 fighter jets, Saab Gripen-E’s has also become a major contender. Saab, a Swedish defence manufacturer has also tied up with the Adani group in India and wishes to establish a modern aerospace facility in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It was also reported that India and Sweden are likely to sign a security pact during PM Narendra Modi’s visit.
After bilateral talks and addressing the Indian diaspora in Sweden, PM Narendra Modi will leave Stockholm for London on April 18th. He will be in London to hold a bilateral summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May. The bilateral meet will focus on improving India-UK relations by addressing issues in energy, cybersecurity, public health, science & technology. Addressing the media, K Nagaraj Naidu, Joint Secretary (Western Europe Division), Ministry of External Affairs said that the theme of the UK visit will be ‘Living Bridge and Tech Partnership’.
Prime Minister Modi will also call on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. He will also meet the CEOs of both the nations to discuss growing bilateral engagement in trade and economic partnership. The Prime Minister will also launch Ayurveda Centre of Excellence in London.
The next two days, PM Modi will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May with the United Kingdom taking over Malta as the new Chair-in-office. The meeting will see the participation of 53 Commonwealth nations. The main agenda of the meeting is to aim at providing a platform and assistance to developing member nations.
Before returning to India, PM Modi will make a stopover at Berlin to meet the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two leaders will discuss various issues regarding trade, regional security and terrorism. This will be the Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Germany after Merkel took office for the fourth time.
Source: Financial Express