India - Sweden Virtual Summit | 06 Mar 2021

Why in News

Indian Prime Minister held a Virtual Summit with the Prime Minister of Sweden to discuss bilateral issues and other regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

  • The Summit provided an opportunity to discuss the international situation and response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as regional and global issues of mutual importance including climate action, sustainable development, gender equality, counter-terrorism and disaster resilient infrastructure, among others.

Key Points

  • Highlights of the Summit:
    • Economic Cooperation:
      • Welcomed the launch of a second joint industrial R&D call on Smart and Sustainable Cities, Transport Systems, Clean Technologies and Digitalization and Internet of Things under India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme.
      • Confirmed the ambition to scale up bilateral research and innovation on Circular Economy including the themes of Health and Life Sciences and Waste to Wealth during 2021.
    • Cooperation in Other Sectors:
      • Welcomed the creation of a Sweden-India Health Hub at AIIMS-Jodhpur.
      • Noted advances in hydrogen research and their possible applications, i.e. in the Energy and other key industries.
    • Cooperation at Multilateral Forums:
      • Welcomed Sweden’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
      • Sweden congratulated India on its eighth term as an elected member of the UN Security Council for 2021-2022.
      • Reaffirmed the importance of the urgent reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion not only to sustain credibility of multilateralism but also to deliver on the several serious common challenges facing humanity.
      • India thanked Sweden for its support to India’s permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.
      • India congratulated Sweden on assuming the Chairmanship of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).
    • Climate Action:
      • Welcomed the USA re-entry into the Paris agreement which gives new momentum to global climate action ahead of COP 26 to be held in Glasgow, UK.
      • Agreed to continue their outreach to expand the membership of the Leadership Group on Industry Transition (LeadIT).
      • Agreed further to intensify their collaboration within the framework of the Arctic Council to address global environmental protection and combating climate change.
    • Security:
      • Welcomed the finalization of the General Security Agreement in 2019 on the exchange and mutual protection of classified information, enabling a comprehensive partnership in all defence sectors.
      • Indian Prime Minister invited Swedish defence firms to participate in the "Make in India programme”, especially in the two Defence Production Corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • India - Sweden Relations:
    • Political Relations: The first India-Nordic Summit took place in the year 2018.
      • The King and Queen of Sweden gave a Royal Visit to India in December, 2019.
    • Economic and Commercial relations: The bilateral trade between two countries presently stands around USD 2 billion. After China and Japan, India is Sweden's third largest trade partner in Asia.
      • The main items of Indian exports to Sweden are articles of apparel, clothing accessories; textiles yarn, fabrics, made-ups; manufactures of metals; road vehicles; general industrial machinery and equipment.
      • The main items of Indian imports from Sweden are pulp and waste paper; road vehicles; paper and paper board, general industrial machinery and equipment etc.
    • Being a member of European Union, Sweden can play an important role in India’s partnership with the European Union and EU countries.
    • The close relations will further the values of democracy, rule of law, pluralism, equality, freedom of speech, and respect for human rights.

First India-Nordic Summit

  • It was held in April, 2018.
  • India and five Nordic countries - Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark held the summit to deepen cooperation.
  • Significance of Nordic for India:
    • Discussion of key issues of security, economic growth and climate change.
    • India can imitate the Nordic approach to innovation systems, characterised by a strong collaboration between public sector, private sector and academia.
    • In areas like clean technologies, maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture, Nordic solutions can be useful.

Leadership Group on Industry Transition

  • The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) gathers countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement.
  • It was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 and is supported by the World Economic Forum.
  • LeadIT members subscribe to the notion that energy-intensive industry can and must progress on low-carbon pathways, aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Source: PIB