India-Sweden: PMs to hold Virtual Summit on Bilateral Issues
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi will hold the virtual summit with his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Lofven on March 5, 2021.
Both the Prime Ministers will exchange their views on the global and regional issues. They will also be discussing the bilateral relations between both the countries. The Ministry of External Affairs highlighted that, this is going to be the 5th interaction between two leaders starting from the 1st interaction held in 2015. After that, the Swedish Prime Minister had visited India in February 2016 for Special Make in India week following which the Indian Prime Minister also visited Stockholm in April 2018 for the “First India Nordic Summit”. As per the statement of ministry, both the leaders met in September 2015 on the side-lines of United Nations General Assembly. The most recent discussion between both the countries was held in April 2020 to discuss the situation of ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
The India–Sweden relations dates back to 1949 when both the countries formally established their diplomatic relations. The country had also recognised the India’s independence from United Kingdom in the year 1947. India has established its embassy in Stockholm and Sweden has its embassy in New Delhi. The country has also established its honorary consulates in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai.
Relation between Sweden and India can also be traced back to 8th century CE and era of Vikings. In the year 1954, a small bronze Buddha statue was discovered which is now displayed at the Swedish History Museum. The statue is supposed to be made in present-day Kashmir. In the 18th century, the Swedish East India Company also attempted make hold on trading foothold though ports in Bengal and Surat but the British, French and Dutch East India companies forced the country to focus on trading with China.
Present Day relation
Currently, around 10,000 Indian citizens are residing and working in Sweden. The group is employed mainly in business or other professional fields. The countries share warm and friendly relations on the basis of shared values of freedom, democracy, pluralism and rules-based international order. They have established a close relation in the fields of Trade & investment, Innovation, Research & Development and Science & Technology. Currently, more than 250 Swedish companies are operating in India in sectors like health, life sciences, auto industry, clean technology, defence, heavy machinery etc as opposed to 75 Indian companies operating in Sweden.