Diplomatic Diary

75 Years Of India – Sweden Diplomatic Relations: A Saga Of Collaboration & Growth

The subtle influence of Sweden on daily Indian life often goes unnoticed. Yet, an Indian individual's everyday actions often revolve around Swedish innovations and products.

An ordinary day in the life of an Indian Lady may start with lighting a burner with a Wimco Match, taking out milk packaged in Tetra Pak, from her Electrolux refrigerator to make a cup of tea. A few minutes later she may get herself ready for the day in H&M dress with Oriflame beauty products and call the driver on Sony Ericsson mobile phone to drive her Volvo car while playing her favourite music on Spotify and also ignoring, not so-important unknown calls, thanks for Truecaller.

During the day she may directly or indirectly use products and services from ABB, Atlas Copco and SKF Bearings and end the day with a pill from AstraZeneca Pharma. Yet, ask her about the common thread tying all these brands together – Sweden – and she might draw a blank. It’s intriguing that despite the significant presence of Swedish companies in India for more than a century, the country of Sweden remains an enigma to most Indians.

The subtle influence of Sweden on daily Indian life often goes unnoticed. Yet, an Indian individual’s everyday actions often revolve around Swedish innovations and products. Despite the evident impact of Swedish brands, the knowledge of Sweden as a nation among many Indians remains superficial.

Thankfully, the tides are turning. Informative marketing campaigns by Swedish firms and active social media engagement highlight Sweden’s role in the Indian ecosystem. However, there’s more ground to cover.

75 Years Of India - Sweden Diplomatic Relations: A Saga Of Collaboration & Growth

2023 is a landmark year, commemorating 75 glorious years of diplomatic relations between India and Sweden. With the thriving presence of 260 Swedish companies and a promising outlook on trade and investment, India stands as a testament to this robust partnership. Over the last twelve years, more than 100 plus Swedish companies have made their mark in India.

A recent Business Climate Survey in 2023, conducted by Business Sweden and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce India had 214 respondents among Swedish companies in India. The objective of this activity was to gain insight into the current business environment, map opportunities, and highlight challenges being faced by Swedish companies while doing business. This has brought forth intriguing insights:

Profitability & Optimism: 70 per cent of the surveyed companies reported profitability in 2022. 2024 is being looked at quite optimistically as well with a whopping 79 per cent of the companies expecting their turnover to increase next year and 60 per cent planning to expand operations in the country with increased investment.

Favorable Business Climate: 86 per cent participating companies found the business climate encouragingly as good/very good. As the business landscape in India rapidly evolves, Innovation, Digitalisation and Green Transition will be the key pillars of India’s economic growth amongst the many common binding areas of interest to the companies.

Public Affairs – A Priority: All the participating companies rated public affairs in India to be of the highest importance when it comes to maintaining competitiveness in the market. In the Indian context, the public affairs scope helps companies learn about the directional governmental policy, which is very helpful in formulating growth strategies for the country.

The Swedish Edge: Sweden continues to rank highly when it comes to innovation, sustainability, and developing high-quality products. Of the participants in the survey, 97 per cent reported that the Swedish brand contributes Much/Very much to their business in India.

Investment Wave: Between 2015 and 2020, Swedish companies invested US$ 1.7 billion in India. Also, in the past three years, multiple Swedish companies infused huge investments and opened manufacturing facilities in the country.

The 2023 Business Climate Survey articulates a resounding sentiment: India ranks high for Swedish firms in terms of a promising business environment. The “Brand Sweden” emblem, synonymous with reliability, positions Sweden as an optimal collaborator for India’s future endeavours. With the tapestry of history, trade, and mutual respect that weaves these two nations together, the Sweden-India partnership promises a future replete with innovation, growth, and mutual prosperity.

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Peeush Srivastava

Peeush is an International Media Specialist with 25+ years of experience with Indian and International Media Platforms f More »

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