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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : India and Sweden: Old friends in new times


Source: Indian Express

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, EU, G20, FTA, mapping(European countries)etc
  • Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India or affecting India’s interests etc



  • 75 years of bilateral relations between India and Sweden.
    • A record year for bilateral trade in 2022, strong growth of Swedish companies in India, and thriving bilateral cooperation.




India – Sweden Relations:

  • Established in 1948 and steadily strengthened over the decades.
  • The first India-Nordic Summit (India, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark) took place in the year 2018 in Sweden.
  • Sweden participated in the First India Nordic Baltic (including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) Conclave.


Multilateral Engagement:

  • India and Sweden: launched the Leadership Group on Industry Transition (LeadIT) in association with World Economic Forum (WEF) at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019.
  • India and Sweden(1980s): worked together on nuclear disarmament issues within the framework of the ‘Six Nation Peace Summit’ (that also included Argentina, Greece, Mexico and Tanzania).
  • UN General Assembly: India and Sweden present an annual Joint Statement on Humanitarian Affairs.
  • During the Swedish Presidency(2013):India joined the Arctic Council as an Observer at the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting.


Economic and Commercial relations:

  • India is Sweden’s third-largest trade partner after China and Japan in Asia.
  • Trade in goods and services has increased from USD 3 billion (2016) to USD 4.5(four point five) billion (2019).
  • Defence and Aerospace (Sweden-India Joint Action Plan 2018): It highlights collaboration on space research, technology, innovation, and applications.


Areas in which India and Sweden are deepening and expanding partnership:

  • collaboration in innovation
  • green transition
  • energy
  • health
  • industry policy


Steps taken to deepen relations;

  • In 2023 India is celebrating the anniversaries of Ericsson, SKF, Alfa Laval, and Volvo — notable Swedish companies in India.
    • These companies have been ambassadors of Sweden in India — for innovation, sustainable manufacturing, skill development, and social inclusion.
  • Sweden and India have developed national wealth through industry and manufacturing.
  • Swedish companies have been key drivers in both these domains and through their work


Bilateral priorities for India:

  • digitalisation
  • green transition
  • industry of the future.


Multilateral engagement :

  • Co-chairs of the Leadership Group for Industry Transition
  • Through presidencies of the European Union and Group of 20 nations that form the world’s largest economies.


Way Forward

  • Look for the opportunities which reflect on the principles that should guide bilateral relations for the next 100 years.
  • Sweden and India have both identified industry and manufacturing as the key to building long-term economic growth.
  • The extensive bilateral manufacturing exchange between Sweden and India has allowed our two countries to benefit from each other.
  • The future belongs to the green and sustainable: Swedish innovations, made in India, which enable decarbonisation at scale.
  • Both countries need to deepen our work toward socially and environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire supply chain.
    • The investment we make today builds our shared competitive advantage for tomorrow.
  • Free Trade Agreement: Having the European Union presidency, Sweden is one of the strongest proponents for a Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and India.
    • It would be a game-changer for economic and industrial exchange
    • Its positive impact would be noticeable in cities like Pune, with a strong Swedish company presence.



Clean energy is the order of the day.’ Describe briefly India’s changing policy towards climate change in various international fora in the context of geopolitics.(UPSC 2022) (250 WORDS, 15 MARKS)