Our Correspondent / NEW DELHI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed confidence that his visits to Sweden and United Kingdom will be useful in enhancing India’s engagement with these countries.
In his departure statement prior to his visit, Mr Modi said, he is visiting Sweden and the United Kingdom for bilateral meetings and for the India-Nordic Summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting during 17th to 20th of this month.
The Prime Minister said, this is his first visit to Sweden and India and Sweden share warm and friendly ties. He said, the partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rule-based global order.
He said, Sweden is a valuable partner in India’s development initiatives. Mr Modi said, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and he will have the opportunity to interact with top business leaders of both the countries and chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, innovation, Science and Technology, skill development, smart cities, clean energy, digitization and health.
He said, India and Sweden will jointly organize the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on Tuesday with the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, ports modernization, cold-chains, skill development and innovation. Nordic competencies fit well with the vision for India’s transformation.
The Prime Minister said he will be in London on 18th April. He said, India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties. Mr Modi said, his visit to London presents another opportunity for both countries to infuse fresh momentum to this growing bilateral engagement.
Earlier, he visited the UK in November 2015. Mr Modi said, he will be focusing on enhancing India-UK partnership in the areas healthcare, innovation, digitization, electric mobility, clean energy, and cyber security.
Under the theme of “Living Bridge”, he will also have the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life who have enriched the multi-faceted India-UK relationship.
Mr Modi will call on Queen Elizabeth II, interact briefly with CEOs of the two nations who are working on a new agenda of economic partnership, launch an Ayurveda Centre of Excellence in London, and welcome the UK into the International Solar Alliance, as its newest member.
On 19th and 20th April the Prime Minister will also participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting being hosted by the United Kingdom which will take over as the new Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth from Malta.
He said, the Commonwealth is a unique multilateral grouping that not only provides useful assistance to its developing country members, particularly the small states and small-island developing states, but also has a strong international voice for development issues.