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A high-level delegation comprising of over 100 business leaders from Swedish companies like ABB, Ikea, Ericsson and Volvo is accompanying the King and Queen of Sweden during their six-day official visit to India beginning Sunday.

Giving details about the visit, Anders Wickberg, Swedish Trade Commissioner to India, said the delegation will hold meetings with Indian industry leaders in Delhi as well as Mumbai.

There has been an influx of Swedish retail companies, with Ikea and H&M pursuing rapid expansion both online and offline, Wickberg said, adding that media services provider Spotify too recently established its presence in India.

Ikea, which has a store in Hyderabad, plans to open 20-25 more stores in the country, said Wickberg.

He said the visit is likely to generate high quality investments in the country which in turn will create technology transfer and employment opportunities.

Currently, over 200 Swedish companies are operating in India, employing over 2 lakh people.
In the last two years, employment through Swedish companies and investment have grown at over 20 per cent, Wickberg said.

The business delegation will be in India in conjunction with the state visit of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, he said.

India is Sweden’s third largest trade partner in Asia, after China and Japan. Mutual economic interests in areas including manufacturing, cleantech, and healthcare, among others, are driving trade relations between both the countries, he said.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Stockholm in 2018, a Joint Action Plan as well as a Joint Declaration on Sweden-India Innovation Partnership for a sustainable future were signed.

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This, Wickberg said, is set to deepen bilateral ties in the field of innovation, underpinning a mutual commitment to drive prosperity and address global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development through innovation.

“With this commitment, we work to increase our bilateral impact, and strive to build on joint solutions,” he added.

With this visit of high-level business delegation, both the countries hope to strengthen their ties and focus on furthering the partnership, specifically in the areas of collaboration and co-creation such as innovation and sustainability, he said.

The delegation’s programme includes a number of networking sessions, panel discussions and roundtable meetings that will facilitate knowledge transfer and experience sharing, Wickberg said. PTI NKD CS

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