Q. Why is this in News?
A. Recently, Norway’s Ambassador to India has reported that the bilateral trade between India and Norway has doubled to $2 billion in the last two years.
Q. What are the Upcoming Areas of Cooperation in India Norway Relations?
- Norway would invest $1 billion from its climate investment fund in five years worldwide, how much of the funds would be invested in India would depend on the projects.
- Norway is working with the National Institute of Wind Energy for Wind Energy related projects.
- However, the problem in India is that only Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had stable wind to make it viable.
- Norway is working closely with India to find a way to get enough countries to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. It will be a binding international legal instrument.
Q. How has India’s Relations with Norway been?
- India and Norway have been enjoying a cordial and friendly relationship since the establishment of relations in 1947.
- Norway’s first Consulates in India opened in Kolkata and Mumbai in 1845 and 1857, respectively.
- In 1952, the “India fund” was established” with the aim to provide development assistance with a focus on fisheries.
- The same year, Norway opened its Embassy in New Delhi.
- Norway has supported India’s membership to export control regimes the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and the Australia Group (AG).
- India signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Norway in 1986 which was revised in February 2011.
- Consulate General of Norway:
- The Consulate General in Mumbai re-opened its doors in 2015.
- It had been closed since the 1970s.
- It was joined by Innovation Norway, the Norwegian government’s official trade representative, which now has offices both in Mumbai and New Delhi.
- India Strategy:
- In December 2018, the Norwegian government launched a new ‘India Strategy’. The strategysets clear priorities for the Norwegian government until 2030 and gives renewed impetus to develop the bilateral cooperation.
- The India Strategy outlines five thematic priorities:
- Democracy and a rules-based world order
- The oceans
- Climate and Environment
- Research, higher education and global health
- To achieve these objectives, Norway focuses on political contact and cooperation between the authorities, business cooperation, and research cooperation.
- Task Force on Blue Economy:
- In 2020, the India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development was inaugrated jointly by both the countries. This task force was launched during Norwegian Prime Minister's visit to India earlier in 2019.
- The purpose of the task force is to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
- It also intends to mobilise relevant stakeholders from both Norway and India at the highest level, and ensure continued commitment and progress across ministries and agencies.
- Norway’s PM Visit to India:
- In 2019, the Prime Minister of Norway visited India and a number of MOUs were signed.
- The Prime Minister also delivered the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue and inaugurated the India-Norway Business Summit.
- Economic Relations:
- As of 2019, more than 100 Norwegian companies have established themselves in India.
- Another 50 are represented by agents.
- The Norwegian Pension Fund Global is likely one of India’s largest single foreign investors. In 2019, its investments amounted to USD 9.5 billion.
- Exports from Norway to India include Nonferrous metals, gas natural manufactured, plastic in primary form, crude minerals, chemical material and products.
- The main items of export from India to Norway include articles of apparels and accessories, textile yarns, manufactures of metals, rice and miscellaneous manufactured articles.
- Cooperation in Various Fields:
- Norway has the fifth largest commercial ship fleet in the world, and ship recycling was crucial to keep up a modern fleet, both for environmental as also for competitive reasons. Norway is cooperating closely with India in “Ship recycling and shipbuilding” activities.
- Academic collaborations exist between the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and the Institute of Wind Energy in Chennai with institutions in Norway.
- The Norwegian company, Piql, was involved in creating a digital archive for Indian monuments such as the Taj Mahal. The company was also involved in digitalising historical monuments, Dholavira in Gujarat and the Bhimbhetka Caves in Madhya Pradesh.