Both sides express satisfaction with extensive bilateral institutional mechanisms
India and Norway are looking to expand and diversify their cooperation in several different sectors including blue economy, climate & environment, water-management and space cooperation.

This was one of the key points of discussion at the 11th India-Norway Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) held on May 14, 2024, in New Delhi.

The FOC was characterized by a robust exchange of views on a broad spectrum of bilateral, regional, and global issues. "The relationship between India and Norway is marked by excellent political exchanges, and extensive bilateral institutional mechanisms," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Key Areas of Focus

Blue Economy and Sustainable Development: According to the MEA, cooperation in the Blue Economy for sustainable development, including in marine and maritime sectors, is the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Both delegations reiterated their commitment to enhancing collaboration in this vital field, recognizing its importance for economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Renewable Energy and Climate Action: The consultations also highlighted the need for greater cooperation in renewable energy and climate action. Both countries discussed expanding their efforts in Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), green hydrogen, solar and wind projects, and green shipping. These initiatives are crucial for addressing climate change and promoting sustainable energy solutions.

Fisheries and Water Management: In addition to renewable energy, the discussions included significant emphasis on fisheries and water management. Both sides agreed to explore new avenues for cooperation in these sectors, aiming to enhance resource management and sustainable practices.

Space Cooperation and Arctic Engagement: Space cooperation emerged as another area of mutual interest, with both nations looking to strengthen their collaboration in this high-tech sector. Additionally, the discussions touched upon cooperation in the Arctic, a region of strategic importance given the changing global climate and its implications for international relations.

Education and Culture: Recognizing the importance of cultural and educational exchanges in strengthening bilateral ties, the delegations explored ways to enhance cooperation in these areas. They emphasized the role of education and cultural programs in fostering mutual understanding and goodwill between the peoples of India and Norway.

Trade and Economic Partnership: The consultations saw the mutual appreciation for the signing of the India-EFTA (European Free Trade Association) Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) in March 2024. Both sides expressed hope for the swift implementation of this agreement, which is expected to significantly boost bilateral trade and investment. The TEPA is seen as a critical tool for deepening economic ties and creating new opportunities for businesses and investors from both countries.

Global and Regional Issues: The consultations also provided an opportunity for an in-depth exchange of views on UN reforms, especially in the context of the upcoming Summit of the Future. Both sides underscored the need for comprehensive reforms to ensure that the UN remains fit for purpose in addressing contemporary global challenges. Additionally, they engaged in fruitful discussions on various regional and global issues of mutual interest, reflecting their shared commitment to promoting peace, stability, and development.

Looking Ahead: The India-Nordic Summit

Preparations for the next India-Nordic Summit, scheduled to be held later this year in Oslo, were also a topic of discussion. Both delegations expressed optimism about the potential outcomes of the summit, which aims to deepen engagement and collaboration among the Nordic countries and India. Preliminary discussions on the agenda and priorities for the summit were held, setting the stage for a successful and impactful event.

Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations in Oslo at a mutually convenient date. This commitment reflects the ongoing dedication to maintaining a strong and dynamic bilateral relationship. As India and Norway continue to build on their shared interests and values, the 11th India-Norway FOC stands as a testament to the enduring partnership and the promise of even greater collaboration in the future.

The Indian delegation was led by Shri Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, while the Norwegian delegation was headed by Mr. Torgeir Larsen, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. The previous consultations were held in Oslo in November 2022.