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Business Sweden in India

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India is the world’s largest democracy with a population close to 1.2 billion. Today the country is among the world’s ten largest economies and is expected to be ranked third in the world after China and the US by 2030.

Once again, India is in the spotlight for investors and companies, on the back of Prime Minster Modis victory in the election in May 2014. Modi ran an election platform based on reforming the economy in order to create growth, which has been stagnating under the former government. In the early 2000’s India’s GDP growth was among the highest in the world - nine percent annually - but the last years the annual growth rate has slowed down to around five-seven percent.

Expectations on the new government are high, especially considering the country’s economy. This is reflected in recent media attention as well as international leaders’ comments in regards to increased trading balance and an impressive development on the Indian stock exchange. However, many of the reforms announced by Modi’s government are comprehensive and time consuming, which pose a challenge for India’s federal structure where individual regions hold wide powers.

India has succeeded with lifting a vast part of the population out of poverty in the last decades. The country has a consuming middle class (est. at 250 million people and to double in 15 years) with relatively good purchasing power. Sweden is today a small trading partner to India but the size of the market and the new government’s attitude and promises has created more favourable conditions for Swedish companies that would like to establish a presence in India.

Swedish investments in India can be divided into four periods:

  • Early 20th century – Ericsson, SKF, Swedish Match and Asea.
  • 1960-1970 – classic Swedish industry such as Alfa Laval, Tetra Pak, Sandvik, Atlas Copco
  • 1980-1990 – second wave of classic industry, Volvo, Perstorp also IKEA and H&M
  • Early 2000 – a mix of large and smaller companies, Volvo Cars, Scania, Systemair, Roxtec

Today there are about 170 registered Swedish subsidiaries in India but over 1200 Swedish companies are projected to make business deals to a value of SEK 1 million annually. Last year 20 new companies was registered. Today Swedish companies are mainly active with an all-around activity in the market place, i.e. development, purchasing, production, sales and after sales. India is no longer ‘just’ a low-cost production country, although some companies still focus on this in their operations. In total Swedish companies employ almost 150,000 people and indirectly over 600,000.

Business Sweden offer a wide range of services for Swedish companies looking to enter the market or grow existing operations. We support companies, in any size, with everything from incorporation to market analysis, finding distributors, agents or retailers.

Please contact us if you are interested in knowing more about how we can assist you on the Indian market!

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Anders Wickberg

Trade Commissioner to India New Delhi Trade Commissioner to India, New Delhi
+ 91 (0)11 4606 7108

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