Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister for Rural Affairs from the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of Sweden met with Dilip Gaur, Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited and Vinod Tiwari, COO, Pulp and Fibre Business of Grasim of Aditya Birla Group in city and discussed an innovative smart textile project and how to best to keep up with the growing demand for textiles with an alternate sustainable solution to cotton. The Swedish Minister also visited the Aditya Birla Group’s Textile Research & Application Development Centre at Kharach, in Gujarat recently which is India’s pioneer in viscose staple fibre (VSF), a man-made, biodegradable fibre with characteristics akin to cotton. The prime aim of this visit is to boost development on smart textiles from using viscose staple fibre (VSF), cellulosic fibre and pulp as an alternative to cotton and hence the Aditya Birla group is a natural fit with its easily blendable cellulosic fibre. Addressing select media in city, Sven-Erik Bucht informed that Sweden strongly believes that the textile industry is about to take a giant step from being a supplier of fabrics to becoming a positive force in the development of a responsible society.

Sustainable textiles are necessary to improve people’s everyday lives, the health care sector and the environment. It takes an open environment where people from many different backgrounds can meet, get involved and collaborate to find a sought-after solution and this is exactly what we are hoping for from this visit by coming together for the betterment of the society and lessen the environmental impact of the textile industry he emphasised. It may be noted here that the Swedish Minister visit to India is part of the follow up to the joint statement by Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its implementation in the areas of innovations and research. It is also a follow up to the ‘Make in India’ event in Stockholm where Dilip Gaur was a part of the Indian delegation led by Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce & Industry of India, which aimed at exploring synergies and avenues of partnership between Indian and Swedish industries.

Speaking about the collaboration between India and Sweden, Consul General for Sweden Ulrika Sundberg said, “It is inspiring to see the broad range of engagement between Sweden and India particularly Maharashtra, stretching from business and infrastructure to environment, health, skills development, culture and in this instance smart textile. Textile and other closely related industries today have an important challenge when it comes to R&D and production in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way. With a joint project on smart textiles we will prioritize the environment and work actively to integrate this in all parts of the production line. For us, sustainability, durability, quality and functionality are all important factors for developing a circular bioeconomy and I truly hope this visit enhances cooperation in tackling the same for a sustainable and healthy future.”

Speaking about his visit, Minister Sven-Erik Bucht said, “We are keen to explore the possibility of a joint project within the area of smart textiles using viscose staple fibre (VSF), cellulosic fibre and pulp as an alternative to cotton. Together, we need a broader approach to address the challenge of climate change and we would like to share our experiences, thoughts and ideas about the practice of a circular bio economy which will help us assume our common responsibility to the environment. My visit to the Aditya Birla group is a part of the bilateral ambition to increase cooperation and trade as well as create synergies and partnerships between the two countries. The Swedish Government is heavily involved in developing textile based on sustainable raw materials and we are very interested in supporting the further development of a globally successful textile industry. This in turn will help create jobs in both countries and will also lead to a sustainable and healthy future”