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Transcript of Special Briefing by Foreign Secretary on Prime Minister’s Visit to Denmark (May 04, 2022)

May 04, 2022

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Hello, very good afternoon to all of you from here in Copenhagen on a special media briefing that we are doing with the visit of Prime Minister that is underway in to Denmark, a very interesting briefing. Just before we hand over the floor, we are actually doing this briefing from the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, where the actual meetings are taking place and is very unusual and unique settings in which we're doing our media briefing. We have with us Foreign Secretary, Vinay Kwatra as well as Secretary (West). Shri. Sanjay Verma, to give us a sense of the discussions that are actually currently underway as I speak, the 2nd India-Nordic Summit is still on. And we are privileged that both of them have been able to step out to brief us because Prime Minister will shortly be leaving from here to the airport. Sir you have the floor.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Thank you very much. Secretary Sanjay Verma, Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, friends from the media. Thank you very much for coming here on this special and urgently organized press briefing. Today was the day of engagement with our Nordic partners, as part of which Prime Minister Shri Modi participated in or right now on the ongoing 2nd India-Nordic Summit, with the Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. Prior to the Summit, Prime Minister also held bilateral summit meetings with his counterparts from Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. What I would try and do is briefly capture the substance of conversations, first with his counterparts from the four countries that I mentioned Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway, and thereafter go to the important elements of cooperative partnership that was discussed as part of the 2nd India-Nordic Summit. His meetings with four Nordics leaders started with his first meeting with his counterpart from Norway, where the principal focus of discussion and partnership was on: one, blue economy and its various facets, two, renewable energy, in particular cooperative possibilities in the field of hydroelectric and green hydrogen, three, the technology and investment ties. In this context, Prime Minister invited Norwegian pension funds to partner in India's growth story. Fourth in the health sector, in which the two leaders talked about cooperation relating to joint research in vaccines, and development of health infrastructure, and five, cooperation in building and restoring water bodies in India. They also talked about continuing cooperation and coordination in the UN Security Council, as well as bilateral cultural cooperation, including in yoga between the two countries.

Prime Minister Shri Modi's second meeting was with his counterpart from Sweden, where the principal focus of discussion and cooperation was: one, on clean technology and sustainable solutions. This was discussed broadly under two rubrics, one relating to the investments by Sweden in India in clean technology and sustainable solution and two, partnerships in research and in innovation in this field, drawing on a successful partnership of under the leadIT program, which is the program relating to industrial transition. The two leaders also spoke about S&T cooperation, including Polar research, and in terms of new areas talked about need to shape new partnership in the field of space, arctic research and defense.

His next meeting was the Prime Minister of Iceland. This year, India and Iceland are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our bilateral relations. Discussions between the two leaders focused on cooperation in the field of geothermal energy and its various aspects including research, training, skill development, and innovation in this space. The two Prime Ministers also spoke about cooperation in blue economy as also was with the previous two leaders, including in the field of fisheries and food processing. His next and last bilateral summit meeting was with the Prime Minister of Finland, where the focus of conversation was to build on the existing strength which India and Finland have achieved in the entire ecosystem of digital partnership. More specifically, they talked about cooperation in the field of digital innovation, in the field of digital goods, and platforms, including infrastructure such as 5G, and 6G. Joint establishment we have already recently established a Joint Center of Excellence in the field of quantum computing. And lastly, the investment in the technology sector by the Finnish companies who already have a very strong presence, companies such as Nokia, and Ericsson.

The two Prime Ministers also talked about women empowerment. And they also noted the upcoming completion of bio refinery project in Numaligarh in Assam. There after the Prime Minister started, and as I said, it's about to conclude now, the 2nd India-Nordic summit with the five Nordic Prime Ministers. I'll broadly list out the three things, three clusters which ran common to the Nordic summit entire discussions. One, is the need to combine the skill capabilities in Nordic countries with the scale of India, two, clean and green growth solutions, and three, to forge a new innovation partnership. The discussions during the Nordic Summit, are being held basically, in three clusters, one, relating to multilateral cooperation in the context of COVID aftermath, two, the climate and sustainable development and do economy. And three, the innovation segment. I'll just very briefly list out the key points which came up in conversation during the Nordic Summit. The first is that Prime Minister appreciated the Nordic countries as a very reliable partner in the last 75 years of India's journey of growth and economic development. It was noted that Nordic countries in India have shared values of freedom and democracy and the rule based order and also share perspectives on various global matters.

The areas of broad cooperative partnerships with all the four Nordic countries essentially focused on which matches also with the Indian developmental priorities, one, relating to urban renewal, two, river cleaning, three, the entire domain of renewable energy and four, the skill development. Under the segment of multilateral cooperation, post COVID aftermath, Prime Minister highlighted that how India has used the IT platforms for effective outreach and Monitoring of COVID vaccination in India and as part of India's belief that such platforms are matter of global good, he also mentioned that these platforms are available on open source basis. India also has not just made vaccines available to over 100 countries, but has also partnered with many nations in the capacity building of their partners. Prime Minister also said that there is a need for temporary TRIPS waiver for vaccine production globally, with a view to ensure vaccines availability to the needy countries. Prime Minister close this segment by saying that there's a need for human centric multilateral order, which is designed to respond to the current global realities.

Under the segment of climate and sustainable development and blue economy, Prime Minister clearly outlined India's commitment to sustainable clean and green growth as reflected in Indian policies in this field on the ground. He also reiterated India's five commitments which were made in COP 26, which is 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel by 2030, 50% of energy capacity to come from renewable energy by 2030, reduction of 1 billion tonnes in projected carbon emissions by 2030, the carbon intensity of India's economy to reduce by 45% by 2030 and net zero by 2070. The conversations also clearly brought out the need to focus on climate adaptation and climate resilience. In this context, Prime Minister also highlighted the need to strengthen partnerships with the two mechanisms which India has set up, which is one is CDRI and International Solar Alliance with Nordic countries. Prime Minister particularly emphasized the need to encourage people to change their lifestyles and promote what he has, often in publicly called lifestyle for environment- LIFE. The Summit also talked about structuring a network of blue economy partnerships between India and Nordic countries.

In the last segment relating to innovation, which is a very strong area of India-Nordic partnership, they focused on innovation. In this, the focus was particularly on healthcare innovation, digital innovation, including, as I've already mentioned, when we spoke about discussions with Finland on digital goods and infrastructure, service innovation and technology partnerships. I think all in all, Prime Minister's engagement this morning with the Nordic leaders, individually in his bilateral summit, as also the discussions in the 2nd India- Nordic Summit, have a chalked out, for the systems in India and also in the Nordic countries, a very ambitious agenda of partnership, which I said earlier on, will seek to combine and converge the skill capabilities, the innovation capabilities, the technology capabilities in Nordic countries with the opportunities in India. And I think we'll set the basis for a very strong trade, investment and technology partnerships in months and years ahead. I thank you once again for coming here this afternoon for this special briefing.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you very much sir. I know we are really tight on time. So we'll just take a couple of questions. Pranay, please start.

Pranay Upadhyay: Videsh Sachiv mahoday, Pranay Upadhyay hoon, ABP News se. Mera sawal is cheez ko lekar hai ki kya aaj Bharat aur Nordic deshon ke beech jo shikhar baithak hui, uss ke baad jin vishayon ko aapne rakha, co-operation ke, to kya koi effective iss ke implementation ke liye mechanism or timeline bhi workout hua hai ki ye jo cheese tay hui hai woh lagu ho aur uss ki regular monitoring ho taki teesri summit tak kuchh tangible result hasil kiye ja saken ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) ForeignSecretary Sir, I am Pranay Upadhyay from ABP News, my question is whether after the summit meeting between India and Nordic countries today, the topics that you put in place of co-operation, has there been any effective mechanism and timeline for its implementation has also been formulated so that these things which have been decided are implemented and there is regular monitoring done so that some tangible results are achieved by the third summit.

Sidhant: Sir, Sidhant from WION. How much was there the discussion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine during the bilaterals and during the summit, my first question. My second question, sir, when is the 3rd India-Nordic Summit going to happen, any discussions on that?

Arun: Sir, I’m Arun from DD India. Sir, how would you define Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Denmark specifically in terms of Nordic? Lot of green components in this, focus on green energy, how you define PM’s visit? And yesterday India and Denmark has formed the energy policy dialogue, with any other Nordic countries this kind of mechanism has been formed which focuses on energy dialogue or any ministerial setup between the governments as far as energy is concerned sir, green energy?

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Jo aapka pehla prashn tha ki jo shikhar varta pe jin bhi vishayon pay varta hui, jo nirnay liye gaye, aage aane wale mahino aur saalon mein unka unka time bound implementation kiss tarah se hoga. Dekhiye, ye to puri tarah se spasht hai aur ye spasht roop se varta mein bhi ubhar ke aaya ki varta ke har agenda item pe jo jo nirnay liye jayenge unka avashya hi time bound implementation hoga. Yadi aap pahli Nordic summit ke outcomes dekhein aur unaki samiksha karen ki unka implementation kis prakar se hua tha, aap payenge ki adhikansh nirnay jo hain, lagbhag poori tarah se ya kafi roop se completely implement kiye ja chuke hai. Toh, yahi pravadhan jo hai doosri India-Nordic summit outcomes se bhi sambandh mein rahega. Jahan tak aapka Ukraine ka prashn tha, main yeh bhi kehna chahunga. (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) to your first question, how will the time-bound implementation of all the topics that were discussed at the summit, the decisions that were taken in the coming months and years. See, it is very clear and it has also emerged clearly in the talks that the decisions that will be taken on every agenda item of the dialogue will definitely have a time-bound implementation programme. If you look at the outcomes of the first India-Nordic summit and review them to see how they were implemented, you will find that most of the decisions have been implemented almost entirely or quite completely. So, the same provision will be also applicable in relation to the second India-Nordic summit outcomes. As far as your Ukraine question was concerned, I would also like to say that both in the bilateral conversations and in the summit meeting also, the leaders did exchange views on matters of regional and global interest that naturally included Ukraine also. They were also discussions on the Indo Pacific. The last question yours was on the third Summit. I really have no information as yet on that. But as we go along and once we have a decision, I'm sure you will get to know.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: He also wanted to know how would you define the energy policy and how you define the visit to Denmark.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Each Nordic country has a specific capacity which relates to the entire dimension of green and sustainable growth. And I think depending upon the strength of each of the countries, our bilateral mechanisms will shape a particular process which carries forward those capacities. So for example, in case of Denmark, as you would have heard yesterday, India and Denmark have entered into green strategic partnership. If you look at Norway, there are elements relating to green shipping, blue economy. Similarly, likewise with the other Nordic countries, also, I think the effort is more on how best to optimize the strength of each Nordic country in a given area of the green domain, and then link it to the opportunities and the cooperative possibilities in India. And I think each country is structured bilaterally differently on that one.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Sir thank you very much for your time, Foreign Secretary sir as well as the Secretary Shri. Sanjay Verma for coming out here, literally as the summit is now concluding. Before I end, a small word of thanks also to the Government of Denmark for graciously allowing us to organize this press briefing here in their Christiansborg Palace. Thank you. Good afternoon.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Thank you very much.

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