World Economy

Sweden Approves MSME Agreement With India

Sweden Approves MSME Agreement With IndiaSweden Approves MSME Agreement With India

Ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Sweden, the union cabinet on Saturday approved signing of an agreement between India and Sweden to promote cooperation in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.

“It provides a structured framework and enabling environment to the MSME sector in the two countries to understand each other’s strengths, markets, technologies and policies,” a Swedish cabinet communique said, IANS reported.

The MoU contains an agreement between the two countries to enable their respective MSMEs to participate in each other’s trade fairs and exhibitions and to exchange business delegations so that joint ventures, tie-ups and technology transfers could take place, the statement said.

“It does not contain or involve any financial, legal or political commitment on the part of either party, the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises said.

“In no case does it attract any financial liability on the part of the government of India,” it added.

The ministry has so far entered into long-term agreements with 17 countries – Tunisia, Romania, Rwanda, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Lesotho, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Sudan, Cote d’lvoire, Egypt, Botswana, South Korea, Mozambique, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mauritius.

Having noticed a perceptible positive change in the investment climate in India, Sweden is hoping that President Mukherjee’s visit to Stockholm from May 31 to June 2 will give a fillip to trade and investment ties and renew people-to-people contact. The two countries are expected to sign agreements on urban development, academics and micro, small and medium enterprises during the president’s visit.

Trade and investment, in the backdrop of the “Make in India” campaign, is expected to be high on the agenda, more so since a recent study by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce shows Swedish companies doing business in India are “very positive” about the investment climate in the country in the coming three years.

“I believe we have a credible measurement of the business climate shifting towards more positive. The investment climate is more favorable. The report by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in India, which does a review of the business on a yearly basis, shows a major shift in perceptions … I will add to that much of this is business listening to the government and the perception of what they hear and what they believe will happen. Fifty-eight percent of the companies report that their market share has increased last year,” Ambassador of Sweden in India Harald Sandberg told The Hindu.

He said though there was a clear shift in perception, there were issues and challenges such as the tax rates, import restrictions, customs duties and bureaucracy that needed to be addressed.