King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrived in Delhi for a five-day visit to the country today. The visit is taking place at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. This is the Swedish King’s third visit to India, the earlier visits being in 1993 and 2005.
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The Swedish King will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, following which he will receive a guard of honour at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The royal couple will lay a wreath at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
The aim of the State Visit is to further strengthen the good relations between Sweden and India, and to promote Sweden-Indian cooperation, including within the frameworks of the Joint Action Plan, the Innovation Partnership and existing memorandums of understanding.
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During the visit, the Swedish King will have meetings with the President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister on bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest, the MEA had said in a statement earlier this week. Exchange of agreements between the two sides will also take place later in the day.
“His Majesty will lead a high-level business delegation for engagements with Indian counterparts. Several documents on furthering bilateral engagement are likely to be signed,” the ministry said.
An India-Sweden high-level dialogue on innovation policy will also be held during the royal couple’s visit. The royal couple will visit prominent monuments of Delhi like Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Gandhi Smriti.
On Tuesday morning, a programme on tackling emissions and air pollution will be held at the India Habitat Centre. The royal couple will proceed to Mumbai on Wednesday where they will meet Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari.
The Swedish King and Queen will next visit Uttarakhand. They will visit Ram Jhula Bridge and Bathing Ghat in Rishikesh and are expected to inaugurate a Sarai Sewage Treatment Plant in Haridwar. On Friday, the royal couple will leave for Stockholm via Delhi.
India and Sweden had a bilateral trade turnover of USD 3.37 billion in 2018 and cumulative investments of about USD 2.5 billion since the year 2000.
“Bilateral relations between India and Sweden are friendly and based on principles of democracy and transparency, right to freedom, and rule of law. Regular interactions in political, business, scientific and academic spheres have provided dynamism to our bilateral ties,” MEA had said.
“The State Visit affirms Sweden’s willingness to be a key partner for India in its rapid development, and in efforts to tackle common social challenges in areas such as the climate/ environment, infrastructure, research, and health,” Embassy of Sweden said.
The State Visit aims to enable increased trade and investment for Swedish and Indian companies in both directions. A high-level Business Delegation of Swedish Companies – encompassing both large, well-established companies and start-ups – will take part in the State Visit, along with representatives of Swedish government agencies and universities. This is the 2nd State Visit to India by Their Majesties, the first was in 1993. It’s the 4th high-level exchange between Sweden and India since 2015 when Former President Pranab Mukherjee was on a State Visit. In 2016, PM Löfven visited India and in 2018, PM Modi visited Sweden.In 2016, PM Löfven visited India and in 2018, PM Modi visited Sweden.