New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) To boost bilateral trade and workers' migration, India Monday inked an agreement to ensure 18,000 overseas Indians living and working in Sweden get social security benefits in the host country too.
The social security agreement was signed by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Swedish Social Security Minister Ulf Kristersson here.
"The agreement will enhance cooperation on social security between the two countries," Ravi told reporters soon after the accord was signed.
The benefits the social security agreement with Sweden will bring to Indian professionals and self−employed living there include exporting their social security benefits to India if they relocate here after completion of their service in Sweden.
For short−term contract of up to two years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under the Swedish law by the detached workers, provided they continue to make social security payments in India.
These benefits would be applicable to professionals sent to work in Sweden as employees from third country by Indian companies.
The self−employed Indians in Sweden would also be entitled to export their social security benefit on their relocation to India.
The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility of social security benefits.
"There is a huge potential for Indian workers to take employment in Sweden owing to the huge labour supply gap in the market," Ravi said.
"As such, a bilateral social security agreement with Sweden is a significant requirement from the futuristic point of view to take advantage of the emerging employment opportunities and to strengthen the trade and investment between the two countries," he said.
India has signed similar agreements with Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Denmark, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Canada, and Japan.