Indian, Swedish economies complementary: Envoy

Monday, August 16, 2010

STOCKHOLM - The Indian and Swedish economies complement each other and there is tremendous scope for expanding and enhancing bilateral relations across a range of spheres, the Indian envoy here has said.

“There are complementarities in the two economies, which both the countries can garner to mutual benefit and advantage,” Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar said Sunday at a function here to celebrate India’s 64th Independence Day.

“There is great potential and opportunity for further expanding and enhancing bilateral relations in all spheres including political, security, economic/commercial, educational and cultural sectors,” he added at his first public function here after assuming office.

Sajjanhar was previously India’s envoy to Kazakhstan.

He noted that high-level bilateral visits over the last few years have provided a significant impetus to India-Sweden relations.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited India in November 2009 at the head of a large business delegation in his capacity of holding the presidency of the European Union.

“Agreements signed, discussions and our meetings held during the visit provided a significant impetus to our bilateral ties,” Sajjanhar said, adding that Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had visited Sweden in September 2009.

In this context, the envoy noted that India, with its “huge market with a 400 million-plus middle-class” was “of immense importance to Sweden”.

“India also has the third largest trained technical manpower in the world, while Sweden has made significant advances in technology and innovation,” Sajjanhar added.

India’s Independence Day “was celebrated with enthusiasm and fervour at a solemn and well-attended ceremony” at the Indian embassy here, a statement from the mission said.

After unfurling the national flag and making his initial opening remarks, Sajjanhar read out excerpts from the address Indian President Pratibha Patil delivered on the eve of Independence Day.

“This was followed by a few extremely melodious and touching songs and poems rendered by members of the local Indian community in Hindi, Bangla and English. These were highly enjoyed and appreciated by the audience,” the statement said.

Indian snacks and refreshments were served after the event.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of Indians and friends of India based in Stockholm from different walks of life including businessmen, entrepreneurs, academicians, scholars, medical and IT professionals, cultural activists, media personnel, students and others.

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