As per the Swedish ambassador to India, Klas Molin, the trade relations with India are primed to grow stronger and deeper and may very well create new employment opportunities. Speaking at the India-Sweden Innovation Day – joint venture with Sweden to promote business ties and explore innovation synergies, Molin mentioned that this partnership between the two nations has strengthened since the announcement in 2018.
Dubbed as one of the cornerstones of India-Sweden business relations, Molin was quoted, “Both our governments have allocated funding for multi-million calls under our partnership. As a consequence, business links between our countries will continue to grow stronger and deeper, drawing us closer together and creating jobs and prosperity.”
A Challenging Market for Swedish Businesses?
Interestingly, Molin made a similar remark a week later to further elucidate the importance of India-Sweden business ties. This time, he was speaking at the Atmanirbhar Bharat – India’s self-reliant programme aimed at attracting foreign investment.
In an interview, the Swedish Ambassador made a case for transparency, a fair regulatory environment and a well-developed infrastructure to allow Swedish businesses to enter the Indian market and thrive successfully. Molin further remarked that clean energy, climate change, innovation, 5G, and artificial intelligence are the areas of focus.
India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal played a similar tune in the recently concluded CEO-Forum of India Sweden Strategic Business Partnership. He mentioned that India would like Sweden to be a part of its efforts to expand the local economies and reach a higher level of prosperity.
Of course, all of this also depends on India’s foreign investment laws and rules. India is on the path to make itself more appealing for FDI (foreign direct investments) and the results are apparent – the FDI influx grew by 16% year-on-year in the April-August spell in 2020. With some focus on infrastructure and regulations, there is no reason why this number cannot grow any further.
Not the First Time In India for Swedes
Clearly, there are plenty of Swedish companies already operating in India. Ericsson comes out on top in this regard as the Scandinavian MNC now looks at 5G technology to the next level. Similarly, we also have Scania – one of the leading Swedish automotive giants that enjoy a good presence in India. Lastly, who can forget the very famous Ikea, which is slowly taking the Indian furniture industry by the storm. Even online sports prediction companies are slowly finding their way in the country to tap into the sports pulse of India.
Needless to say, it has been a fruitful partnership over the years with these existing companies. It is now the time to build on this partnership further. The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in India has been established with the sole purpose of this; several MoUs have been signed-in different areas, including that of Health Care and Public Health to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar pacts have also been undertaken in R&D, entrepreneurship, climate energy, and others.
Moreover, seminars and talks are conducted frequently to keep exploring the innovation opportunities between the two countries for mutual good.