Sweden's SAAB is pitching its Gripen light fighter jet for the MMRCA deal

New Delhi: India''s growth and potential in defence sector present significant opportunities for Swedish companies to manufacture in India for domestic market and for exports, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday.

In his speech at the banquet hosted in honour of Swedish King King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president said he was happy to note that India-Sweden bilateral trade and investment relations are gaining strength.

He said that India sees Sweden as a key partner in its Make in India, Start-up India, Clean India, Digital India and Smart City programmes.

"Swedish companies have made significant investment in India. There is potential for them to do a lot more, especially in clean technologies, circular economy, water partnership and next generation infrastructure.

"India''s growth and potential in the defence sector also presents significant opportunities for Swedish companies to manufacture in India for the domestic market and for exports," the president was quoted as saying in an official statement.

He said health sector is another area of close cooperation.

"An impressive number of Indian companies have invested in Sweden especially in the areas of IT and technology solutions," he said, adding "our economies complement each other and India-Sweden can work together to deepen their business and technology collaboration further".

The president said that global partnership was encouraging as the bilateral relationship of the two countries.

He invited Sweden to join the International Solar Alliance and evinced India''s keen interest to engage with he country in the Arctic region.

Three agreements in the fields of polar research, science and technology and sea-faring were exchanged in the presence of the president and the Swedish King.

The winners of Children''s Climate Prize 2019 -- Vihaan and Nav Agarwal -- also called on the president and the King of Sweden.

Children''s Climate Prize was launched by Swedish electricity company Telge Energi in 2016 to highlight the issue of climate change. This prize is given to children or youth, aged 12-17, who have made extraordinary efforts for the climate and the environment.

The president said that the innovation partnership holds tremendous potential. "Our skills and our commitment can make us leaders of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We must, however, look beyond. The world of machine-intelligence must be accompanied by equity, for meeting basic needs of people, to protect our natural resources and to preserve our planet," the president said.

India wants to engage with Sweden on circular economy, resource efficiency and climate-smart models.

The president said that from Namami Gange to Jal Jeevan Mission and from Clean India to Smart Cities, India''s Socio-Economic programs open several opportunities for both countries to work together.