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ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SHRI RAM NATH KOVIND AT THE BANQUET HOSTED IN HONOUR OF THE KING OF SWEDEN

Rashtrapati Bhavan : 02.12.2019

1. Your Majesty, I am delighted to welcome you and Her Majesty to India. This is your third visit to our country, and each time you have brought new warmth, new energy to our friendship. We thank you for your support and commitment to Sweden-India relations.

Your Majesties,

2. Our countries share core values of democracy, freedom, and respect for rules-based international order. We are both committed to strengthen multilateralism and a multi-polar world. I am confident that your visit will further boost our bilateral agenda and our global partnership.

3. During your visit, Your Majesties, you will get to see diverse and distinct aspects of India. As you meander and gaze through our cultural diversity, our multiple faiths, our forest communities, our rivers and our enterprise and Industry, you will understand our timeless ethos and our aspirations. We are making committed efforts to bring our people and environment at the centre of our development.

4. Sweden is known for its technological prowess, economic dynamism, environmental sensitivity and gender empowerment. Your sporting achievements, be it in football or in the backhand stroke of tennis icon Bjorn Borg are equally inspiring. In each of these areas, we have established meaningful cooperation. Indian growth and Swedish capabilities have partnered each other for decades. But we want to do a lot more with you. We should get our young minds together, so that they lead us on the digital highway; we should get our entrepreneurs together, so that they lay for us waste-to-energy pathways; and we should get our women together, so that we learn how best to protect their rights and nurture their talent.

Your Majesties,

5. Our 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. India’s socio-economic programmes, from Namami Gange to Jal Jeevan Mission, and from Clean India to Smart Cities, open-up many possibilities for us to work together. We want to engage with you on circular economy, on resource efficiency and on climate-smart models.

6. As a country with deep reverence for nature, we value your leadership on environmental issues. The Stockholm Conference remains etched in our minds and our hearts. We look forward to working with you to strengthen action against climate change, in the Industry Transition Track and under the International Solar Alliance.

Your Majesties,

7. We are doing many things for a sustainable earth. We must also give equal attention to securing our world. The fangs of terrorism have spread themselves from Stockholm to Mumbai. There is little choice for us but to work together.

8. Your Majesty, as we look at the future, our common values, complementary economies and shared interests will keep our relations thriving and getting stronger.

9. I wish you and your people peace, progress and prosperity. May our friendship flourish forever!

Thank you very much. Tack so mycket.

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