Sweden to Launch ‘Time for India’ Drive

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    • Sweden set to launch the ‘Time for India’ drive as a trade promotion event to boost bilateral trade.

    About

    • Under it, there shall be no requirement for vaccination for entry nor will there be a quarantine regime in place. But travellers need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival.

    India-Sweden Relations

    • Diplomatic Relations:
      • Diplomatic ties between India and Sweden were established in 1949.
      • The two nations enjoy a cordial relationship and excellent cooperation in regional and international fora.
      • Sweden supports India’s membership in the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
      • Sweden also supported India in its membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and has extended full support in India’s bid for its pending membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
    • Political Relations:
      • High-level contact between the two countries goes back to 1957 when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Sweden.
      • Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Sweden to attend the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.
      • The first-ever State Visit by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, was in 2015.
      • Sweden also participated in the First India Nordic-Baltic Conclave co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in November 2020.
    • Cultural and Educational Relations:
      • In 1913 Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize (for Literature). In 1973 a special stamp was issued in Sweden on Rabindranath Tagore. In 2014 a bust of Rabindranath Tagore was installed in the university town of Uppsala to mark the 100 years of the award of the Nobel Prize to him.
      • Indian music, dance, art, literature, films and cuisine are widely appreciated in Sweden.
      • In the absence of a Cultural Exchange Agreement between the two countries, cultural ties are promoted mainly by local associations and by the Embassy with the support of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.
      • A popular annual cultural event ‘Namaste Stockholm’ is supported by the Embassy of India.
    • Trade and Economic:
      • India is Sweden’s 19th largest export market and third-largest trade partner after China and Japan in Asia.
      • Trade-in goods and services have increased from USD 3 billion (2016) to USD 4.5 billion (2019).
      • The main Swedish exports to India are communication equipment, motor vehicles, paper & pulp products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineering products.
      • Sweden is an externally oriented economy with a focus on services and industry sectors, especially on manufacturing, IT, life sciences, circular economy, clean technologies.
      • A Sweden India Transport Innovation and Safety Partnership (SITIS) was signed in the year 2020.
    • Cooperation at Multilateral Forums
      • India 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.
    • Indian Diaspora
      • The Indian Diaspora in Sweden is estimated to be over 50,000 that including around 35,000 Indian nationals.  Most of them are professionals and around 10,000 are estimated to be working in the IT sector.

    Image Courtesy: Wiki

    First India-Nordic Summit

    • Nordic countries include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.
    • India had proposed the idea of the first nordic summit, which was held in 2018.

    Importance of Nordic countries for India

    • Nordic countries support India’s NSG membership, its permanent candidature in UNSC and demands for UNSC reforms.
    • The Nordic Sustainable Cities Project supports the Smart Cities Program of the Government of India.

    Source: TH