Narendra Modi can expect an earful on the benefits of free trade when he visits Stockholm for a summit with Nordic peers already rattled by the sound of Donald Trump’s protectionist war-drums.

The first-ever joint meeting between the prime ministers of India, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden comes at a critical juncture for the global economy, with the European Union still trying to figure out if it will obtain a permanent exemption from US tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium.
  1. Modi for his part, has been sending conflicting messages about his free trade credentials: Having declared at the World Economic Forum in January that India was open for business, the premier made a U-turn less than a month later by raising import duties to their highest level in three decades.
  2. The last thing that the export-oriented Nordics need from the world’s biggest economies is more protectionism.
  3. Given India’s preference for dealing with individual countries rather than the EU as a whole, the summit is a golden opportunity for the Nordics -- a region of 27 million people with an economy roughly the size of Canada’s -- to do business with the world’s biggest democracy. A free trade agreement with the EU has been years in the making, with slim results.
  4. There’s a realization among Nordic governments of the potential importance that India can play in the coming years,” said Henrik Aspengren, a researcher at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. “Compared to China, it has the potential to grow.”
  5. India’s $2.3 trillion economy has obvious attractions for Nordic businesses. Sweden, for instance, is sensing an opportunity to showcase its Saab AB Gripen fighter jets ahead of a July deadline for bids in India’s procurement process of 110 locally-manufactured aircraft.
  6. Denmark, for its part, is keen to sell its windmills and food-processing machinery, according to Kunal Singla, who heads the Danish industry lobby’s office in India.

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Dr Khan

Dr. Khan began his career of teaching in 1988 as lecturer in a college of University of Delhi. He later taught at Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He has several research papers and books to his credit.

Dr. Khan has been teaching General Studies since February 1992 to IAS aspirants and is very proud of the fact that almost every State and Union Territory in India has some civil servants who personally associate with him.

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