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Overview of Norwegian PM H.E.Ms.Erna Solberg three day Visit to India

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On 7th January 2019, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg arrived in New Delhi for a three-day state visit to India at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. This made her the first foreign leader and head of the government to visit New Delhi in 2019.

Norwegian PM H.E.Ms.Erna Solberg three day Visit to IndiaKey Points:

  • Ms Solberg was accompanied by senior officials from her government and a large business delegation in her first visit to India.
  • Ms Solberg held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
  • During the visit, she delivered the Inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue and also participated in the Indo-Norwegian Business Conference.
  • The two countries held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues, and on the ways and means to further strengthen the growing bilateral partnership.

Norwegian P.M. Erna Solberg inaugurated the Indo-Norwegian Business Summit 2019 in NewDelhi
On 7th January 2019, the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg along with Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu inaugurated India-Norway Business Summit 2019 in New Delhi.

Key Points:

  • At the summit she assured that the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement between European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and India will be finalised soon and it will contribute to increased trade and better environment for businesses from the two nations.
  • She emphasised on the vitality of a stable global framework for trade and investment for both the countries, especially in times like today where there is increased protectionism in certain market.
  • Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that the two country will be signing an agreement to facilitate a dialogue between India and Norway, to take business to a new level.
  • During the summit, business entities from the two nations signed 15 MoUs across various sectors including finance, ICT, health-care, energy and aquaculture, among others.

About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
♦ Minister: Suresh Prabhu
♦ Minister of State: C.R. Chaudhary
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

Norway PM Erna Solberg inaugurates green compound at Royal Norwegian Embassy
On 7th January 2019, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, in a unique move inaugurated a new green compound at theRoyal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi. She is on a 3 day official visit to India.

Key Points:

  • The Government of India has granted a Green Rating for Integrated Habitat to the Norwegian embassy.
  • The building which is designed keeping in view sustainability, is adapted to the local climate and takes into account the environmental concerns of India. Besides 95% of the building materials that were used in the construction process came from local markets in New Delhi.
  • The architect of the building, Terje Grønmo from Terje Grønmo Arkitekter AS informed that the building features rain water harvesting well, geothermal walls to circulate cool air in it and solar panels that produce 200 kWh energy a day.

India, Norway agree for new Joint Task Force on blue economy
On 8th January 2019, India and Norway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Joint Task Force on Blue Economy, in order to promote multi-sectoral cooperation in various aspects of Blue Economy.

Key Points:

  • The two sides recognised the importance of sustainable use of the oceans, including for food security, energy sources, mineral exploration and climate friendly maritime transport.
  • The decision assumes significance in view of the fact that at least 15 per cent of Indian population resides in the coastal areas while 70 per cent of the Norwegian economy is dependent on the maritime industry of the country.
  • The blue economy is an emerging concept which encourages better management of ocean or ‘blue’ resources.

About Blue Economy:
The blue economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.” It supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 life below water’, and recognises that this will require ambitious, co-ordinated actions to sustainably manage, protect and preserve our ocean now, for the sake of present and future generations.

India, Norway agree to collaborate on ocean economy, SDGs
On 8th January 2019, India and Norway agreed to collaborate closely on the ocean economy and achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), while also vowing to step up cooperation in combating terrorism.

Key Points:

  • The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct an India-Norway Ocean Dialogue which aims to give “new energy and direction” to bilateral relations.
  • Leaders of both the country expressed desire to work together for realizing Sustainable Development Goals including poverty, health, education, women’s empowerment, clean energy and sustainable use of ocean resources.
  • The Norway PM pointed that the world will not be able to reach the sustainable goals unless “India is on board” and stressed for the reforms at the United Nations Security Council.
  • It was also announced that the Norway Government Pension Fund Global has made a portfolio investment of $12 billion in India.
  • Besides India and Norway are also cooperating in the field of mother and child health under the Norway-India partnership Initiative and desired to expand its scope.

About Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a set of 17 global goals in the form of a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They are set by the United Nations in areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption and peace and justice. The SDGs came into effect in January 2016, and they will continue to guide United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) policy and funding until 2030.

Norwegian Prime Minister will deliver the Inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue
From 8th to 10th January 2019, the 4th edition of the Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference kicked off in New Delhi. The event was organised by Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation.

Key Points:

  • The theme of the 2019 dialogue is “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”. 
  • The inaugural address of the conference was delivered by the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms Erna Solberg, who was accompanied by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • Foreign ministers of Spain, Iran, Australia, Mongolia and Nepal, besides India’s Foreign Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj attended the event.
  • The Dialogue will bring together over 600 delegates from 93 countries, including influential political leaders, strategic thinkers, policy practitioners, technology innovators, business representatives and academics on a common platform.

Sushma Swaraj Meets Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
On 8th January 2019, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to discuss ways of expanding bilateral ties in New Delhi.

President Ram Nath Kovind Meets Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
On 8th January 2019, the Prime Minister of Norway, Ms Erna Solberg called on the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The President recognised Norway as a natural partner as the two countries are vibrant democracies, with deep respect for the rule of law, cultural diversity and human rights.