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20th November 2017, Mumbai

Sweden and Birlas to explore smart textiles

Aditya Birla Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers of viscose staple fibre. The Swedish government is looking for a joint project with the Aditya Birla Group in the area of smart textiles. It plans to strengthen bilateral trade with India and explore smart textile solutions through cooperation with the Aditya Birla Group, Swedish company Domsjö and the two governments, as well as the EU, The Hindu Business Line reports.

The trade between the two countries is somewhat skewed with India largely importing raw material from Sweden and exporting value-added products across the globe, said Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister for Rural Affairs from the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation Sweden, in an interaction with the media last week.

“We are keen to explore the possibility of a joint project in smart textiles using viscose staple fibre, cellulosic fibre and pulp as an alternative to cotton and hence the Birla group is a natural fit with its easily blendable cellulosic fibre. Together, we need a broader approach to address the challenge of climate change,” he said.

Calling for a collective approach, the minister confirmed that Sweden would like to share their experience and ideas about developing an ecosystem based on a circular bio-economy that will build a better environment.

Aditya Birla Group is a pioneer and one of the world's largest manufacturers of viscose staple fibre. It is also the fourth-largest producer of insulators and the fifth-largest producer of acrylic fibre globally, according to the manufacturer. In India, the company is a top branded apparel and lifestyle player and the second-largest player in viscose filament yarn.

Ranked as 19th trading partner, Sweden exports to India in the first half of this year was up at 5,375 million Sweden Krona against 4,275 million Sweden Krona in the same period last year. Indian exports to Sweden in the first six months of this year was up at 3,178 million Sweden Krona against 3,026 million Sweden Krona logged in the same period last year.

Asked whether the Swedish government would attract some investment to produce value-added products from Indian companies, the visiting minister said the government is interested only in facilitating the trade by throwing open the opportunities and it is for the corporates to decide on their investments.

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