Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen on Monday held a virtual meet which marked the establishment of ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ between the two countries, opening a “new chapter in the friendly and cooperative relations between them”.
Under the India-Denmark ‘Green Strategic Partnership’, a joint statement by India and Denmark said, the “ambitious goals and actions will be identified within the areas and outlined in an Action Plan that will be worked out and endorsed as soon as possible”.
Further emphasising in the strategic partnership, the statement read: “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.”
The two prime ministers acknowledged the importance of establishing the ‘Green Strategic Partnership, under which India and Denmark will cooperate through relevant ministries, institutions and stakeholders.
Both sides “held an in-depth exchange of views in a warm and friendly atmosphere on bilateral relations, discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and global matters of interest to both sides, including climate change and green transition and reached a common understanding with a view to accelerating sustainable economies and societies,” said the statement.
During his opening remarks, PM Modi highlighted the importance to develop alternatives to the current global supply chain which is heavily dependent on countries like China.
Without naming any one country, PM Modi said: “Covid-19 has shown that it is risky for Global Supply Chains to be highly dependent on any single source. We are working together with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience. Other like-minded countries can also join this effort.”
“In this context, I believe that our Virtual Summit will not only prove useful for India-Denmark relations, but will also help in building a common approach towards global challenges,” PM Modi said.
Hitting it off on a personal note, PM Modi congratulated Mette Frederiksen on her marriage and invited her family to visit India once the Covid crisis is over.
“You recently got married. I congratulate and convey my best wishes and hope that soon after the post-Covid-19 situation improves. We will soon have the opportunity to welcome you with your family in India. I am sure your daughter Ida will definitely be eager to visit India again,” PM Modi said in his opening remarks.
Prime Minister Frederiksen responded by extending an invitation to PM Modi.
Denmark has proposed to host the second ‘Knowledge Summit’ and if situation normalises, PM Modi is likely to visit the country for the summit.
To question on collaboration to control stubble burning and avoid air pollution, Neeta Bhushan, Joint Secretary, Central Europe in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), confirmed that the issue was discussed at the high-level meeting.
During a special briefing, Neeta Bhushan said: “Danish companies have niche technology in these areas and they have offered to help us in meeting our targets of reducing air pollution. Danish companies are already in talks with Indian companies on how to take things forward.”
On the long-pending issue of extradition of Kim Davy, Neeta Bhushan said: “It was mentioned. Concerned officials on both sides will be in touch and work towards an early resolution of the issue.”
Kim Davy was the key conspirator of 1995 arms drop in Purulia district of West Bengal.
In 2012, India decided to scale down ties with Denmark after a lower court in the country refused extradition of Kim Davy and govt refused to go for a further appeal.
On the trade front, responding to a question on BTIA, Neeta Bhushan said, “It was discussed. The leaders agreed that both sides will work towards an early conclusion of Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).”
The officer also said that the Covid-19 situation was discussed.
“The scale at which it is being handled in India cannot be imagined said the Danish PM. She expressed deep appreciation for our PM’s leadership in that context. On vaccine, it was mentioned that collaboration with like minded countries will help to meet the challenges of this pandemic. India is well known for its pharmaceutical capabilities and we are working on a vaccine,” Neeta Bhushan said.