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External Affairs Minister's Press Statement following the 4th India-Denmark Joint Commission Meeting

September 04, 2021

Thank you.

Let me begin by saying that I'm really very pleased to be here. It's my first visit to Denmark and as you heard from my colleague and friend, the first by an Indian Foreign Minister for twenty years. We met to chair the Joint Commission which held its fourth meeting today, but also because as Foreign Ministers, this is an opportunity for us to review the world, look at our bilateral relations, the big issues of the day and some of it we have done. Some of it will be doing later in the evening.

I think from the perspective of India-Denmark relationship, its been a very, very productive day for me so far. We went through the Joint Commission. We had actually devised a joint action plan for the next five years. So, we looked at how the joint action plan has delivered even in the middle of Covid. And I must say, I compliment officials on both sides that they have actually done a lot in the last year and a half for all the travel problems that we’ve had. Again as you've just heard we had 10 working groups in our joint commission. We just added an 11th one, one on health. Its relevance is obvious that given the context of the Covid.

What's unique about our relationship with Denmark is that Denmark is the only country with which we have a green strategic partnership. And the way we look at it, you know, everybody says build back better, but we also want to grow back greener. And in growing back greener, we think Denmark is a very very unique partner, because you have strengths and experiences and best practices which are enormously helpful for a country like India at this stage of its development. Quite apart from the policies and the positions we take, to me what was particularly satisfying, was that thanks to the initiative, which minister you took, I was able to meet five CEOs of very important businesses, the key businesses who are in India, who can make a big difference out there, companies like Grundfos, Vestss, Maersk, Haldor, Topsoe and CIP, as well as the major chambers who are concerned, with business which includes DIDE, Danish shipping and Agriculture & Food Council.

We have 200 Danish companies operating in India. We have a growing number of Indian companies today here. We also discussed how apart from our own bilateral cooperation, how we could carry forward, our larger trade investment agreements with the European Union and which we have, I believe have Denmark's support. We have also discussed the Covid situation. How we have each coped with it. What are the lessons and what are the challenges posed by Covid in terms of travel and mobility. Because, in this globalized world, we have tourists, we have students, we have seafarers, we have aircrews and we have to find some way by which their life and their professions are made better than they have been for the last year.

This is, you know, we are 75 years into our independence and starting from this August till 2023 we will be marking our Independence Day Celebrations across the world and we certainly hope to do that very much in Denmark with the support of the government and the people out here.

This morning I was very honored to be granted an audience by her majesty, the Queen, and she was very very gracious in her recollections of India and her sentiments that she expressed for our relationship. I look forward to calling on the Prime Minister tomorrow. So all in all I want to say, it's been a very good day. It's been a good day for me personally. And a very good day for the relationship.

And I thank you Minister for making it possible.

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