#56 India - Nordic relations 

In September DMI hosted the first session on Indo Nordic cooperation seminar for businesses at the International Climate Summit in Delhi. We had with us companies from all the five nordic countries, and next week DMI will be hosting India - Nordic roundtable together with Invest India, Indian Danish Chamber of commerce and Sweden India business council at World Economic Forum in Davos. 

So: the topic for this podcast with H.E May-Elin Stener had to be India - Nordic relations!

May-Elin Stener was Director in The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. She has lead the section for the Horn of Africa and West Africa, covering Norway’s policy and development relations with 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Until July 2018, May-Elin was Norway’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York.  She has worked for the Norwegian Foreign Service for 24 years, and has had postings to the UN offices in Geneva and at the Norwegian Embassy in South Africa.

There is significant scope for future growth between India and the nordics. There is a vast opportunity for Indian industry to form partnerships & JVs and enter into technology transfer agreements between institutions and enterprises in the Nordic Region. India's need for greater market knowledge, information on specific procedures, compliance norms, and more can be met through the Nordics. We asked Ambassador Stener the following:

  1. We - the nordics - have one of the oldest and most wide-ranging forms of regional political collaboration. How do the Nordic countries collectively approach business and diplomatic collaborations in India, and what role does Norway play in these collaborations?
  1. Nordic Region has one of the largest economies in the world. Nordic countries are known for their strong emphasis on social responsibility and sustainable business practices. How are these values reflected in Nordic businesses operating in India?
  1. Over the past two decades, the total trade between the EFTA States and India has been growing steadily. In 2022, the combined EFTA-India merchandise trade surpassed USD 6.1 billion. How do you see EFTA agreement and business relations between the regions? 
  1. Given the Nordic commitment to renewable energy, how are Nordic countries and Norway specifically contributing to green initiatives and sustainable development in India?
  1. Norway has a significant presence in the Arctic. Are there opportunities for collaboration between India and Nordic countries, particularly in areas related to Arctic research
  1. Looking ahead, what do you see as the future prospects for increased business collaboration between Nordic countries and India, and what role can the diplomatic missions play in facilitating these opportunities?
  1. Norway and India share a strong and growing bilateral relationship in areas including the ocean, energy and environment. Bilateral trade between both countries has doubled in recent years. The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund is likely one of India’s largest single foreign investors (around USD 17.6 billion). Norway’s new Climate Investment Fund has invested 7 billion INR (974  million NOK) in renewables so far in India. There are around 200 Norwegian companies operating in India. I remember you said that you have won the lottery when you got to know that you will be Ambassador to India. Do you feel the same today. 5 months down the road? 

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