Swedish firms commit US$1.1bn to India

The commitment follows Prime MInister Narendra Modi attending the inaugural India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm which was attended by the head of governments of the Nordic states - Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark

April 17, 2018

The latest investment flow follows commitment of US$1.5 billion made for the last three years, Swedish trade commissioner to India Carsten Gronblad said

The commitment follows PM Modi attending the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm which was attended by the head of governments of the five Nordic states

The latest investment from the largest Nordic economy will be led by companies such as Volvo Group, IKEA Group, AstraZeneca Plc, amongst others

Total India-Sweden merchandise trade during 2016-17 amounted to US$1.9 billion; As of October 2017, there are over 170 Swedish operational entities in India

Some of the biggest global conglomerates based out of Sweden have committed new investment worth US$1.1 billion to India for the coming two years. The latest investment flow follows commitment of US$1.5 billion made for the last three years, Swedish trade commissioner to India, Carsten Gronblad, told The Economic Times. The commitment follows Prime MInister Narendra Modi attending the inaugural India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm which was attended by the head of governments of the Nordic states – Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The latest investment from the largest Nordic economy will be led by firms such as Volvo Group, IKEA Group, AstraZeneca Plc amongst others that already run flourishing operations in India. The strengthening of trade and investment ties comes in the backdrop of expanding diplomatic relation between India and Sweden that dates back to 1949.

Mr Gronblad, speaking following a CEO meet with PM Modi said that Sweden was investing in India more than it did over the last few decades. During the visit, PM Modi met his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven, following which the countries signed an agreement related to an innovation partnership for a sustainable future. The highlight of the bilateral meeting was the formulation of the India-Sweden Joint Action Plan related to areas of technological innovation; trade and investment; smart cities and next generation mobility; sustainable and renewable energy; women’s skill development and empowerment; defence; space and science; and, health and life sciences. The plan, for example, under the purview of trade and investment envisages boosting of commercial ties between and empowering business leaders to drive cooperation in smart cities, digitization, skills development and defence sectors.

Under the newest plan, heavy vehicles maker Volvo Group has proposed investment of around US$250 million over the next three years in order to expand capacity and offer new products and services. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical producer AstraZaneca is looking to invest US$90 million over the next five years across its innovation, manufacturing and servicing units as well as its infrastructure and IT setup. Around 30 CEOs had attended the meeting with the Indian and Swedish Prime Ministers during which as many as 10 CEOs discussed their India plans. Total India-Sweden merchandise trade during 2016-17 amounted to US$1.9 billion, with room for further growth. As of October 2017, there are over 170 Swedish joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries operating in India. Sweden is India’s 20th largest foreign investor with investment of US$8.5 billion recorded between January 2003 and January 2017.

The existing Swedish MNCs in India include Volvo, ABB, Atlas Copco, Ericsson, Alfa Laval, Saab Automobile, Autoliv, Sapa (Aluminium solutions), Astra Pharmaceuticals, Electrolux, Quinn Hotels Sweden, Scania, Perstorp, H&M, IKEA, Recipharm and Securitas. On the flipside, there are more than 70 Indian companies operating in Sweden, of which over 40 are IT firms. The two nations have decided to augment bilateral platforms and mechanisms to support growth in commercial and cultural exchanges. India’s ambitious full electric vehicles adoption is expected to gain considerably from a strong India-Sweden partnership.

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