India and Sweden on Saturday resolved to scale up bilateral relations and expressed their commitment to a transparent, fair and predictable global trade regime under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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“… India’s economic development and rise as a global power have created new opportunities to further deepen and extend this partnership to foster economic growth and inclusive development in both countries as well as to meet global challenges,” said the joint statement following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Lofven.

The Prime Ministers of the two nations have “agreed to scale up bilateral relations and committed to a close bilateral dialogue at all levels”, it said.

The two leaders also underlined the need to tap full potential of the EU-India strategic partnership and welcomed the prospect of resumption of talks on the India, EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

“Both the Indian and Swedish sides remain committed to the WTO and a transparent, fair and predictable global trade regime,” the statement said.

The two Prime Ministers committed to a continued dialogue within the framework of the joint commission to enhance the environment for doing business in their respective countries and further facilitate and promote bilateral economic cooperation.

On increasing cooperation on defence matters, it said both the leaders agreed that India and Sweden will enhance dialogue on defence in key areas.

“The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the potential for successful collaboration and agreed that under the rubric of Make in India, co-operation possibilities between their respective defence industries could be identified and taken forward appropriately, including in the field of aviation,” it added.

Further, both the Prime Ministers agreed to a deeper bilateral dialogue on UN Issues at both capital and UN-Mission level.

“They reiterated the need for urgent reforms of the UN Security Council through an expansion in both categories of membership, to make it more effective and representative of the contemporary geo-political realities,” it said.

Lofven was of the view that it would be inconceivable that an important global actor such as India is not a permanent member of an enlarged Security Council and said he will seek parliamentary support for this view.

“The two countries called for forward movement in the inter-governmental negotiations on UN Security Council reforms and stressed their commitment to initiate text-based negotiations within the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly,” the joint statement said.

Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India’s support for Sweden’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2017-18.