India and the Nordic Baltic Region can work together to make growth greener, smarter and more digital. This was stated by Dr. S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India while delivering the Inaugural Address at the India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave: “An Innovation-driven Partnership for Growth in a New World” which was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in cooperation with the Ministry of External Affairs today. This could be made possible with the Nordic – Baltic region’s expertise in the area of green technologies as well as digital technologies and India’s own strength in the ICT space. In his view, India and the Nordic Baltic region could work together to make a major difference in this regard.
According to the Minister, India and the Nordic Baltic Region had a long history of cooperation and had a substantial trade and investment relationship. He felt that this could be strengthened further in light of the reforms that were being carried out in India.
H.E. Mr Jeppe Sebastian Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark stated that India and Denmark could work together in the area of wind power, water, and infrastructure. He also called for India and Denmark to cooperate more closely in multilateral fora in areas such as environment protection and climate change.
H.E. Mr Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland stated that India and Finland could work together in areas such as 5G technology, quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence among others. He noted that a two-way relationship was developing with an increasing number of Indian companies investing in Finland. He stressed on the need for India to finalise an investment protection agreement with the EU – of which Finland was a part.
H.E. Ms Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, Minister of Tourism, Industries and Innovation, Iceland highlighted areas where Iceland had developed significant expertise. These included using natural resources for energy generation, converting greenhouse gases for use in manufacturing, utilizing ocean resources to create nutritional supplements and medicines, gaming technology among others.
H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkevics, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Latvia highlighted his country’s expertise in the digital space and stated that the two countries could work together in areas such as 5G, cyber-security and R&D.
H.E. Mr Urmas Reinsalu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia highlighted the growing interest of Estonian companies in the Indian market especially in areas such as e-health, cyber security and development of 5-G technologies.
Mr Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman, SEB and Saab, & Co-chair India Sweden Business Leaders Round Table, Sweden stated that while the individual market sizes of the Nordic – Baltic countries was small, taken together, they accounted for a very sizeable market. He stated that industry from the region has been operating in India for many years. He highlighted the fact that Astra-Zeneca, which was co-headquartered in the region was developing a vaccine for COVID-19 along with the Serum Institute in Pune. He pointed out that the EU-India FTA need to be concluded as soon as possible in order to deepen trade linkages with the Nordic – Baltic region.
According to Mr. Uday Kotak, President, CII the region has the potential to support the growth in manufacturing sectors, proliferation of digitalization, waste management and skill development in India.
Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stated that CII would be happy to support collaboration between India and the Nordic – Baltic region through the CII Smart Manufacturing Platform, the CII Centre for Digital Transformation as well as a dedicated India – Nordic Baltic Innovation Exchange.
5 November, 2020