In what will be a marker to Swedish business presence in the state, the ‘Sweden- India Business Guide-2014’ brought out by various Swedish government agencies states that around 27 Swedish companies in Gujarat have managed to generate 7,438 jobs. The employment figures were pointed out by Fredrika Ornbrant, the Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai who was part of a ‘Transportation delegation’ from Sweden consisting of around 20 members led by Jonas Hafström, Ambassador & Senior Advisor to the Swedish Minister for Trade to Gujarat on Tuesday.
As per the Guide in terms of Swiss presence; Gujarat however lagged behind states like Maharashtra that had 80 Swiss companies that employed around 27,874 people. Madhya Pradesh had 13 firms with 11,887 people, while Delhi/NCR region had 76 firms employing 15,295 people. There were 51 firms in Tamil Nadu with 26,883 strong workforce and 63 in Karnataka employing 26,747 among other states.
The delegation met Gujarat CM Anandi Patel and Saurabh Patel, state minister for Transport along with other officials from state including G R Aloria Principal Secretary,Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Government of Gujarat. Along with the officials, Hafstrom was accompanied by representatives of top four Swedish firms namely Security service provider Gunnebo Security Group, automobile manufacturing giant Volvo, leading Truck maker Scania and provider of communications technology and services- Ericsson.
According to figures provided in the guide, the trade between India and Sweden in 2013 is pegged at $70 million as FDI’s from Sweden to India in 2013, while the export of goods to Sweden from India was pegged at $732 million. The export of goods to India was to the tune of around $167 million and the total number of direct jobs created by Swedish companies nationally was 1,43,099.
“We have seen an increase in the number of foreign delegations in this region recently. This year we have seen that there is a huge interest in India back in Sweden and great curiosity about the new government and PM Modi. We felt that this is a good starting base and we wish to deepen our existing relationship with India,” said Fredrika who said that Sweden will definitely be participating in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015. Krister Thulin , Director of Pre Sales & Marketing at Scania in India who was part of the delegation said, “We are interested in creating a small biogas factory where we can use waste as fuel and showcase the technique which we have perfected since 25 years.”