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CELEBRATIONS OF THE 68TH REPUBLIC DAY OF INDIA IN STOCKHOLM
The Embassy of India, Stockholm, organized a Flag Hoisting ceremony and a Reception to commemorate the 68th Republic Day of India in Sweden.
India’s Ambassador to Sweden Monika Kapil Mohta hoisted the Indian National Flag on 26 January 2017 at a ceremony organized at ABF Huset, Sveavägen, Stockholm, which was attended by over a hundred members of the Indian community, including a large number of children and students for whom it was an opportunity to connect and learn about India and its journey of growth since the formation of the Republic. After the unfurling of the Tricolour, the President's address was webcast to the audience. A short address by Ambassador Mohta followed touching upon the core issues raised in the Address by the President and then highlighting the growth of bilateral relations between India and Sweden and how every Indian in Sweden can contribute towards the strengthening of relations between the two countries. She also underlined that the Embassy would always extend all possible help to all Indians. A short cultural programme - including performances by Srutilaya, Flavourz Indian Students’ Association, KTH, and Omkara groups, mainly by children - followed showcasing the history of India’s Independence and the strength of its diversity. Light refreshments of Indian snacks were served at the end.
On 27 January 2017, Ambassador Mohta hosted a Reception at Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm, which was attended by over 300 guests. The Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Mr. Urban Ahlin, was the Guest of Honour. Other important guests present included Member of Parliament & Chairperson of the Sweden-India Friendship Group in the Swedish Parliament, Ms. Asa Coenraads; Swedish State Secretary for EU and Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Oscar Stenstrom; State Secretary for Defence, Mr. Jan Salestrand; Chief of Protocol, Mr. Klas Molin; Deputy Director General for Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Cecilia Ruthstrom-Ruin; SAAB President & CEO, Mr. Hakan Buskhe; President & CEO of Teknikforetagen (Association of Swedish Industries), Mr. Klas Wahlberg; and Chairman of Sweden-India Business Council, Mr. Hakan Kingstedt. A large number of senior Government officials, representatives of the Swedish business community, diplomats and prominent members of the Indian Community also participated in the function. The Reception was formally started by playing the National Anthems of India and Sweden, followed by speeches by the Ambassador and the Speaker of Swedish Parliament.
The Indian Ambassador, in her welcome remarks, explained the importance of the Republic Day and summarized the all-round achievements made by India and the major developments in bilateral relations in recent years. She highlighted Prime Minister Modi’s recent initiatives, such as Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, Girl Child Education, Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Smart Cities, which have caught the imagination of the entire Indian nation and opened up India to the world with vast opportunities for investments. She emphasized that Sweden, as one of the most innovative economies in the world with some of the finest clean and cutting-edge technologies, can be a natural partner in India’s journey towards sustainable economic growth. The Ambassador referred to the vision statement, released in Mumbai in February 2016 by the Prime Ministers of the two countries, that outlined, among others, the future cooperation in priority sectors such as urban infrastructure, smart transport solutions, waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, education, healthcare and defence. She underscored the importance of the Indian diaspora in Sweden as a source of great strength in India’s development process.
The Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, said that India and Sweden shared common values and issues of common interest and that the long-standing bilateral relationship was characterized by friendship and partnership. He added that the two countries had a number of MoUs and agreements and other institutionalized mechanisms and dialogues, which covered a wide range of fields of cooperation, such as research, technical development, defence, health, environment and renewable energy. The Speaker reiterated Sweden’s support for India as a Permanent Member in a reformed and widened UN Security Council. He spoke about the increasing two-way investments. He recalled the first-ever visit of the President of India to Sweden in 2015 when he received the former in the Swedish Parliament. Acknowledging the steady exchange of Ministerial and high level visits, he looked forward to his upcoming visit to India in April 2017, which, he added, would contribute to the contacts between the countries. He said that the focus of his visit would include trade, research and education, security policy, equality and environment. He was confident that the mutual relationship between India and Sweden would continue to prosper.
This was followed by a brief Indian cultural programme and a sumptuous buffet lunch.
At the Reception venue five stalls were put up to promote Indian Teas, Herbal and Ayurvedic products, Yoga, Tourism to India, and Make in India initiative as well as to showcase economic developments in India.
27 January 2017