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Swedish companies committing a fresh 1.1 billion dollars investment in India


Companies in Sweden, the largest Nordic economy in Europe is committing a fresh 1.1 billion dollars investment in India led by some of its major companies Volvo, IKEA, AstraZaneca amongst others.

Having committed $1.5 billion in the past three years, the additional investment that is lined up will be for the next two years. Sweden is investing in India more than it did in the “last few decades” said Carsten Gronblad, the Trade commissioner to India.

Gronblad was speaking on the sidelines of CEO Meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a day when India and Sweden signed joint declaration in innovation partnership for sustainable future.

The Volvo Group alone has committed $250 million over the next three years in capacity expansion and new products, while the Pharma major AstraZaneca said it will invest $90 million over the next five years.

The investment commitment will span across AstraZeneca’s diverse footprint in India to strengthen it manufacturing, clinical operations, patient & safety and regulatory science, IT services and commercial operations, the company said in a statement.

“India is seen as a strategic market for future. It is not just the quantum of investment, but the quality of investment in R&D and innovation which is going to reap great benefits in years to come. Sweden can partner India on several projects like the Smart Cities and accelerated development of Emobility Solutions for future,” said Gronblad.

About 30 CEOS had a close-door meeting with both the prime ministers. About 10 CEOs briefed Modi about their India ventures.

Charles Frump, MD of Volvo Car India who attended the meet said Volvo shared their vision of electrified vehicles with the Prime Minister Modi and stated how it is in line with government’s vision of electrifying the nation’s fleet in the times to come.

One of the key feedbacks from companies participating was how red-tape can be further reduced informed Frump.

“There is a need for companies to work in tandem with regulators in defining the EV roadmap for the country. We feel that the plug in hybrid have a crucial role to play in the future on our path to full electric, which the government needs to consider,” said Frump.

Volvo Buses have launched their electric and hybrid buses in India and contribute towards the cleaner mobility solutions and Volvo Cars too plans to have its range of plug in hybrid and electric vehicles starting 2019.

The prime minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven announced that his government will kickstart innovation partnership by providing upto 50 million Kronos for innovation cooperation with India in the field of smart cities and sustainability.

It was a first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in Sweden in the last 30 years. Prime Minister Modi, sent out a dozen tweets, with pictures of the meetings he had with his peers and the royal family and later with the businessmen. A few tweets were in the Swedish language as he set about to woo the Swedes.

In his address Modi said Sweden has been a key partner of India in defence over the years, “there is a lot Sweden can contribute towards future of India through Innovation, Start up, manufacturing, Urban Transport, waste management for cleaner environment. Prime minister Modi followed it up with a dozen tweets, with some in the local language.

(This correspondent is in Stockholm on the invite of Volvo Cars India)

Source: Economic Times