New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK) from April 16 to 20, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Apart from bilateral visits to the two countries, Prime Minister Modi will attend the India-Nordic Summit and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sweden and United Kingdom respectively.
At the invitation of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister Modi will undertake his first visit to Sweden on April 16 to 17. He is scheduled to arrive in Stockholm on the evening of April 16 and will have a number of meetings on April 17, including an audience with the King of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf and consultations with Prime Minister Lofven.
Prime Minister Modi will address a gathering of select Swedish business leaders and will also meet the vibrant Indian community in Sweden.
The MEA said in a statement, “India and Sweden share friendly bilateral ties and common views on major global issues. Sweden is India’s valued partner in trade, technology and investment. Over 170 Swedish companies have invested USD 1.4 billion since 2000. Around 70 Indian companies have invested in Sweden. India-Sweden annual bilateral trade stands at around USD 1.8 billion.”
India and Sweden will co-host the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on April 17, 2018. The summit will see the participation of the Prime Ministers of India and of all the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The MEA added, “India’s trade with the Nordic countries totalled around USD 5.3 billion in 2016-17, with cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India at USD 2.5 billion. The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, port modernization, food processing, health, agriculture infrastructure, skill development and innovation which are also the focus areas of India’s development. These complementarities and the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries hold the potential to further boost trade and investment from both sides.”
On the sidelines of the India-Nordic Summit, Prime Minister Modi will have separate bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway respectively.
The Prime Minister will visit the UK from April 17 to 20 for a bilateral visit and attend CHOGM. The forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK will focus on enhancing India-UK tech partnership.
The visit will see a number of deliverables in the area of skill development, healthcare, cybersecurity, innovation, traditional medicine, and education. The India-UK CEOs Forum will also take place during this visit. Also, the UK will formally convey their readiness to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
“India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties. In 2004, the bilateral relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership. The UK is among India’s major trading partners. The merchandise trade between the two countries in 2017 reached USD 13 billion, and trade in services is around USD 7.2 billion. The UK is the fourth largest inward investor in India with a cumulative equity investment of USD 25.31 billion, accounting for around 7 percent of all foreign direct investment into India,” the statement continued.
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 110,000 jobs in the UK.
Prime Minister Modi will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London from April 19 to 20. The meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government usually take place every two years and serve to shape the organisation’s agenda for the next two years.
The CHOGM is a multilateral organisation known for its focus on the development issues that confront Small States and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of whom have deep historical and bilateral ties with India. (ANI)