PM to visit Sweden, UK for India-Nordic summit, CHOGM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Stockholm and London later this month, on bilateral visits to Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as to attend the India-Nordic summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Modi will meet Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on his maiden visit on April 16 and 17. He will also call on King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. He will address a gathering of select business leaders and meet expatriate Indians.

India and Sweden will co-host the first India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on April 17. Modi will be joined by Prime Ministers of all the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, besides Sweden.

Over 170 Swedish companies have invested $ 1.4 billion in India since 2000. Around 70 Indian companies have invested in Sweden. India-Sweden annual bilateral trade stands at around $ 1.8 billion.

India's trade with the Nordic countries totalled around $ 5.3 billion in 2016-17, with cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India at $ 2.5 billion.

"The Nordic countries have globally recognised strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, agriculture infrastructure, skill development and innovation which are also the focus areas of India's development," the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press-release on Thursday. "The unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries hold the potential to further boost trade and investment from both sides."

Modi will have separate bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway on the sidelines of the India-Nordic summit.

The Prime Minister will travel to London on April 17 and attend the CHOGM. He will meet British Prime Minister Theresa May with the aim of strengthening India-UK partnership. "The visit will see a number of deliverables in the area of skill development, healthcare, cyber security, innovation, traditional medicine, and education," the MEA stated.

The India-UK CEOs Forum will also meet during Modi's visit. The UK is expected to formally convey its readiness to join the International Solar Alliance.

Trade spirals

The merchandise trade between India and the UK rose to $ 13 billion in 2017, and trade in services to around $ 7.2 billion. The UK is the 4th largest inward investor in India with a cumulative equity investment of $ 25.31 billion, accounting for around 7 % of all foreign direct investment in India. India continued to be the third largest investor in the UK and emerged as the second largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 1,10,000 jobs in the UK, the MEA said.

Modi will attend the CHOGM in London on April 19 and 20 before returning to New Delhi.

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