This was India’s first bilateral summit with a European Union member

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen on Monday held a virtual bilateral summit.

Held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, the summit remained highly successful as the two countries agreed to elevate their relations to a Green Strategic Partnership. Terming it a new age partnership, the Prime Minister said, the agreement will add a new dimension to India-Denmark relations.

“This will also help in expanding economic relations and green growth and strengthen co-operation in addressing global challenges and meet opportunities with focus on implementation of the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Goals,” Prime Minister Modi said.

This Green Strategic Partnership would “build on and consolidate the existing agreement establishing a Joint Commission for Cooperation (signed 6 February 2009) between India and Denmark which envisaged cooperation within the political field; economic and commercial field; science and technology; environment; energy; education and culture,” a joint statement issued by the two countries maintained.

In addition, the strategic partnership builds on and complements the existing Joint Working Groups on Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Environment, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Food Processing, Science, Technology and Innovation, Shipping, Labour Mobility and Digitization, the joint statement said.

The Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities; with focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Acknowledging the importance of establishing the Green Strategic Partnership, the two Prime Ministers, as per the joint statement, agreed to cooperate with each other through relevant ministries, institutions and stakeholders.

During the summit, Prime Minister Modi also talked about circular economy.

“Concept of a circular economy should be added and a time bound action plan needs to be drawn up,” the Prime Minister said. He also proposed setting up India-Denmark energy park in areas where there are a large number of Danish companies,” Prime Minister Modi said.

Prime Minister Modi, as per Neeta Bhushan, Joint Secretary in the MEA’s Central Europe division, also proposed setting up India-Denmark skill institute so that Danish companies will be able to get skilled manpower as per their requirement. Both sides highlighted the strong trade and investment links over 140 Danish companies present in India and participating in the Make in India initiative.

The Prime Minister also stated that Danish companies have started making in India their products for the world. He also maintained that he had earlier given a mantra that Denmark has a ‘Skill’ and India has a ‘Scale’. “Now, we need to expand the scope of this mantra by adding ‘Speed’ to it.”

The Prime Minister also welcomed Denmark to the International Solar Alliance.

During the summit, the two sides also talked about several regional and multilateral issues.

Talking about developments surrounding the Covid-19 situation, he said, “Events of the past several months have made it clear how important it is to work together for like-minded countries like ours, which share rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and Democratic value-system.”

“Cooperation between like-minded countries in vaccine development will also help in dealing with this pandemic. During this pandemic, India's pharma production capabilities have been useful to the entire world. We are doing the same in the field of vaccine,” he added.

“This is also the effort of our 'Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India)' campaign to increase India's capabilities in key economic sectors and also serve the world.
Under this campaign we are emphasizing on all-round reforms. Companies operating in India will benefit from regulatory and taxation reforms. The process of reforms in other areas is also ongoing. Recently significant reforms have been made in the agriculture and labor sectors,” he said.

Stating that Covid -19 has shown that it is risky for Global Supply Chains to be highly dependent on any single source, he said, “We are working together with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience. Other like-minded countries can also join this effort.”

He thanked the Danish Prime Minister for offering him to visit Denmark for the second Nordic summit which will be held in Copenhagen. The Prime Minister said he would be happy to visit Denmark once the Covid-19 situation improves. He also invited the Danish Prime Minister to visit India along with her family members soon.