PM Modi holds bilateral meetings with counterparts from Nordic countries
Copenhagen: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland during which he discussed with them ways to further deepen bilateral ties and also exchanged views on regional and global developments.
Modi, who arrived here on Tuesday from Berlin on the second leg of his visit to three European nations, met the four Nordic leaders on the sidelines of the second India-Nordic Summit in the Danish capital.
He began his day by meeting Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store during which the two leaders took stock of the full range of bilateral relations.
"Had a productive meeting with PM @jonasgahrstore of Norway. Our talks included furthering cooperation in sectors such as the blue economy, clean energy, space, healthcare and more. Norway is a key pillar of India's recently announced Arctic Policy," Modi tweeted.
This was the first meeting between the two leaders.
"Both Prime Ministers reviewed the ongoing activities in bilateral relations and discussed future areas of cooperation," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
Discussions also took place on regional and global developments. As members of the UN Security Council, India and Norway have been engaging with each other in the UN on global issues of mutual interest, it said.
Modi's visit comes amid the Ukraine crisis, which has united much of Europe against Russia.
"Both leaders discussed the potential for deepening engagement in areas like Blue Economy, renewable energy, green hydrogen, solar and wind projects, green shipping, fisheries, water management, rainwater harvesting, space cooperation, long term Infrastructure investment, health and culture," the MEA said.
Modi also had a "wonderful meeting" with Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson during which they discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties and the progress in the Joint Action Plan. This was the first meeting between the two leaders.
"We discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in key sectors like security, IT, research and innovation. Strong ties between our nations will benefit our people," Modi tweeted.
The two leaders held extensive talks on further diversifying the India-Sweden friendship, the Prime Minister's Office said.
During the meeting, the two leaders took stock of the progress in the Joint Action Plan and also appreciated the expanding scope of the jointly launched LeadIT initiative, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
During the 2018 visit of Prime Minister Modi to Sweden, the two sides adopted a wide-ranging Joint Action Plan to take forward a wide range of initiatives in defence, trade and investment, renewable energy, smart cities, women's skill development, space and science and healthcare etc. The two sides had also signed a Joint Innovation Partnership.
"Discussions also took place on regional and global developments," the MEA said, adding that the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made by the Lead IT initiative.
This was a India-Sweden joint global initiative to set up a Leadership Group on Industry Transition (LeadIT) in September 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit to help guide the world's heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries towards the low-carbon economy. Its membership has now grown to 35 with 16 countries and 19 companies.
"Both leaders also discussed possibilities of deepening cooperation in areas like innovation, climate technology, climate action, green hydrogen, space, defence, civil aviation, Arctic, polar research, sustainable mining and trade and economic ties," it added.
In a separate meeting, Modi held talks with Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and discussed ways to further strengthen economic cooperation especially in the sectors of geothermal energy, Blue Economy, Arctic, renewable energy, fisheries, food processing, education including digital universities, and culture, the MEA said.
Discussions also took place on regional and global developments, it added.
"Glad to have met PM @katrinjak. We discussed India-Iceland relations, particularly our shared collaboration in healthcare, renewable energy, fisheries and more," Modi tweeted.
Modi lauded Jakobsdottir's personal efforts at promoting gender equality and briefed her on India's advances on the issue, the MEA said.
Discussions also took place on expediting the India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) trade negotiations.
Modi also met his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin and discussed ways to further cement bilateral ties in trade, investment, technology and other sectors.
"Today's meeting with Finland @MarinSanna was very fruitful. There is immense potential in expanding the India-Finland digital partnership, trade partnership and investment linkages. We also discussed ways to deepen cultural ties between our nations," Modi tweeted.
This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders.
They discussed opportunities to expand cooperation in the fields of new and emerging technologies like AI, quantum computing, future mobile technologies, clean technologies and smart grids, the MEA said.
Modi invited Finnish companies to partner with Indian companies and take advantage of the enormous opportunities that the Indian market presents, particularly in telecom infrastructure and digital transformations.
Discussions also took place on regional and global developments, and on greater cooperation in international organisations.
India's trade with Nordic countries stands at over USD 5 billion (2020-21).