The Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden, and Business Sweden – Team Sweden has played a crucial role over the years in building a sustainable and carbon neutral future with India. Green goals, sustainable business practices and climate-friendly initiatives got a further impetus as India’s long-term trade partner Sweden launched the India-Sweden Green Transition Partnership (ISGTP) as part of the Indian Sweden Sustainability and Green Transition Day event on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 in Mumbai. The launch symbolises the two countries’ joint commitment to promote exchange of carbon-neutral business practices and solutions, co-create localised innovations and share expertise and knowledge related to the green transition.
Swedish businesses have a significant footprint in India with the operational presence of around 250 companies that are generating over a million jobs directly and indirectly. Several dedicated MoUs spanning across Energy, Environment, Urban Development, amongst other areas of mutual interest have been signed between India and Sweden.
Over the years, Business Sweden along with the Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden and Swedish Energy Agency have established the Sustainability by Sweden ecosystem in India. The ecosystem functions as the overarching umbrella denoting Sweden’s commitment to drive green transition across sectors, which has created a hotbed of opportunities that are transforming entire industries, value chains, and production methods. The ecosystem is also supported by leading agencies in both countries including Vinnova and Stockholm Environment Institute, along with Confederation of Indian Industries.
An exchange of green technologies and expertise forms the basis of this platform while fostering innovation and co-creation and, enhancement of trade and economic collaborations between Indian and Swedish stakeholders. Under the partnership, six leading Swedish green thought leader companies – Absortech, Alfa Laval, Alleima, Hitachi Energy, KraftPowercon and SKF will work together with India’s leading business houses to enhance pace of green transition across hard to abate industrial sectors including cement, steel and automotive.
The event, attended by top Swedish and Indian industry & government delegates, witnessed a host of interesting interactions via panel discussions and special addresses. Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to India set the theme for the event, followed by a welcome address by Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai.
Speaking at the launch, Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to India said, this platform is an excellent example of how leading Swedish companies in India are joining hands with their Indian counterparts across hard to abate sectors in order to collectively build a strong, green, and clean future.
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Romina Pourmokhtari, Swedish Minister of Climate and Environment, virtually highlighted Sweden’s role as a sustainability and green transition catalyst. Sustainability, Green transition, and Innovation serve as key focus areas of the ongoing trade and economic relations between India and Sweden. As joint leaders of the Leadership Group of Industry Transition, both countries have committed to drive heavy industries towards carbon neutrality.
Reiterating India’s commitment to engage all stakeholders in achieving its Net Zero goals, Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra, in his keynote address, spoke at length about the country’s green priorities. “I am delighted to learn about Sweden’s commitment to partner with India in its green transition journey. Swedish companies have been at the forefront of Industrial growth and investments in Maharashtra. This new engine of green partnership is an additional pledge to our shared responsibility and work to create a climate-neutral future for both nations. I also congratulate the partner agencies of India Sweden Innovations Accelerator Program for their decade long journey of fostering green collaborations among Indian and Swedish companies.” he said.
Other prominent speakers at the event included Dr. Harshadeep Kamble, IAS – Secretary (Small & Medium Industries) & Development Commissioner (Industries), Government of Maharashtra, Pravin Darade, Principal Secretary Environment, Government of Maharashtra, and Dr. Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power Company Ltd and Deeksha Vats, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group.
The ISGTP will leverage Sweden’s global collaboration theme “Pioneer the Possible”, which promotes co-creation of innovative sustainable solutions with India and will also synch with activities planned under LeadIT initiative. Another highlight of the partnership is the coming together of industry leaders and experts from India and Sweden for three technical workshops, two of which focussing on cement and iron & steel be hosted in Mumbai on 24th November 2022. The third workshop on automotive sector will be held in Pune in December 2022.
The day was also marked with 10-year celebrations of another joint initiative between both countries – India-Sweden Innovations Accelerator (ISIA) program. The Swedish Energy Agency, Business Sweden and CII-Godrej GBC are joint partners in this program which focusses on promoting green energy and energy efficiency collaborations between the two countries. In the last decade, the program has facilitated entry of 60 Swedish SMEs into India which has in turn established 200 projects and has positively impacted eight sustainability goals for the country. To showcase innovative Swedish cleantech companies in an Indian smart city context, a dedicated showroom has been set-up at Business Sweden’s office in New Delhi.