Swedish delegation led by the Royal couple arrive on a five- day visit to India

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrived in India on a five-day bilateral visit.

They will be meeting the President, Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister of India amongst other dignitaries.

Meeting with the External Affairs of India

Earlier in the day, the External Affairs Minister of India Dr S. Jaishankar called on the visiting dignitaries.

They also received a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan before which they paid their tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat.

Swedish Royal couple at the Rajghat

They will also be visiting the city of Mumbai and the state of Uttarakhand.

Agreements related to environmental management including clear air technologies, water cleaning technologies and alliance of start ups are expected to be signed during this visit.

Accompanying the royal couple are the Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, the Minister for Business, Industry and innovation Ibrahim Baylan; the State Secretary of Health and Social Welfare Maja Fjaestad along with a 150- member business delegation.

The presence of 150-member strong business delegation visiting India, indicates the interest from both sides to increase their level of economic engagement. The bilateral trade between the two sides as of 2018 stands at US $3.37 Billion. Many Swedish companies have their presence in India. Furniture major Ikea hopes to expand beyond Hyderabad and Mumbai. They also have expressed their interest in procuring agricultural residue from the states of Haryana and Punjab, the burning of which leads to deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) in the northern part of India.

This also indicates an increased level of engagements between India and the Nordic nations in the recent past.
Though ahead of the visit, the Swedish Foreign Ministry kicked up a storm by calling upon India to lift the restrictions currently in place in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It reflected a blatant disregard for Indian sovereignty and reflected a lack of understanding of the ground situation, according to experts.

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