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India and Sweden agree to deepen industrial ties

Defence industry bodies from India and Sweden have agreed to deepen collaboration between their members as part of expanding bilateral efforts to strengthen defence trade and production ties.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 8 June that the agreement was signed during an online event – chaired by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist – focused on identifying opportunities for India and Sweden to expand their defence industrial partnership.

The MoD said the memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was signed by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and the Swedish Security and Defense Industry Association, will “promote bilateral defence industrial relations” and provide a framework for a new joint working group that will “take forward mutual objectives”.

During the event, Singh invited Swedish defence firms to invest in India's two new defence industrial corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In 2020 India raised the cap on FDI from 49% to 74% in a bid to encourage investment and technology transfers.

“Swedish firms already have a major presence in India,” Singh said in comments published by the MoD. “There is a lot of scope for Swedish and Indian defence industries for co-production and co-development.”

He added, “Indian industry can also supply components to Swedish industries. [India's] technology-centric FDI policy will enable Indian industries to collaborate with Swedish companies in niche and proven military technologies.”

In addition, Hultqvist reiterated Sweden's offer to sell Saab's Gripen E fighter aircraft to India to meet its long-standing requirement for multirole combat aircraft.

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