Stockholm: India will soon extend e-Visa facility to Swedish nationals, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said as he invited the Nordic country to be a part of government's flagship programmes like the 'Make in India' initiative.
Addressing a seminar in Stockholm on "India and Sweden: Co-creating a brighter future", Mukherjee said, "If India and Sweden pooled their innovative energies to address the challenges that India faces, the solutions that they come up with may benefit not just the two countries but the whole world."
Ahead of the seminar, the President met the CEOs of the Swedish companies where he asked them to invest in India. The CEOs told the President that they were eagerly awaiting the outcome of government's decision on Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The GST bill was introduced in Parliament and is at present pending before the standing committee.
The CEOs also told the President that they wanted to expand manufacturing base in India and make use of the programmes like 'Make in India' and also export to a third country from India.
During the seminar, Mukherjee spoke about the changed political atmosphere in India and said "an atmosphere has been created which is business friendly" besides carrying out reforms in the policies.
He said India and Sweden have had traditionally warm and friendly relations based on shared commitment to multi-party democracy, an open society, freedom of expression, inclusive growth, an independent judicial system.
"I am pleased to inform you all that Sweden will feature in the list of countries to be soon granted the e-Tourist visa facility which would greatly facilitate travel for Swedish nationals who can come and explore 'Incredible India' with all its beauty, diversity, richness of culture, traditions, history and more," Mukherjee said.
The facility will enable Swedish nationals to apply for Indian visa online, make payment for it and receive it through internet thus avoiding time consuming procedure of visiting the mission for travel documents.
"The coming together of India's large talent pool and technological and financial investments from Sweden can catapult our economic relationship to a new high. Sweden is among the leading innovative nations in the world. It has a culture of promoting innovations--and honouring them,"he said.
Mukherjee invited the Swedish industry to make full use of the new investment opportunities in India.
"Our regulatory regime today is becoming increasingly transparent, responsive and stable. The Government is working towards its vision of minimum government and maximum governance," Mukherjee said.
The goal is to create one big market within India and to also make it easier to export from India. Manufacturing in India is set to become an un-missable opportunity--not only to meet the booming demand of the Indian consumers but also for producing cost-effective exports to third countries, he said.
The President said India is focusing on digital connectivity and use it to address the challenges faced by the country as it plans to build 100 smart cities by 2022.
Mukherjee said all these programmes and priorities -- Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities, Skill India and Green India -- are the building blocks of a brighter future of India-Sweden partnership because Sweden has strengths in all these areas.
"The three Ds of India - Democracy, Demography and Demand --should resonate strongly in Sweden, which has an ageing population and a small domestic market with an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade and the largest number of multinational companies per capita in the world," he said.
Mukherjee underlined the business relations between the two countries saying it was Ericsson brought manual switches and telephone systems to India in 1903.