[India], Jan 08 (ANI): India and Norway have agreed to intensify their bilateral co-operation in the field of "integrated ocean management" by forming a new Joint Task Force on the blue economy. The decision assumes significance in view of the fact that "at least 15 per cent of Indian population resides in the coastal areas."
Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who exchanged an MoU on India-Norway Ocean dialogue at Hyderabad House here on Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, "We have agreed to intensify our cooperation on issues relating to the sea, including a new joint task force on the blue economy focusing on integrated ocean management."
"At least 15 per cent of the Indian population resides in the coastal areas, entirely survive on this. While 70 per cent of the Norwegian economy is dependent on the maritime industry of the country," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
The blue economy is an emerging concept which encourages better management of ocean or 'blue' resources.
"Oceans are important for jobs, clean seas, resources, medicines and more opportunities," added Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg.
Both the leaders also held the discussion on the Norway-India Partnership Initiative that is making "good progress in the field of mother and child development."
"India has done an impressive job on issues related to women and child development, including easy access to quality education, making sure that they equally participate in the workforce and make the most of their talent," Prime Minister Solberg said.
The two leaders further stated that trade and investment play a major role in shaping the bilateral ties between India and Norway. Prime Minister Solberg is also scheduled to deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue on Tuesday evening.
"Even on the international platform, India shares good ties with Norway. United Nations Secretary Council reforms, multilateral export control regimes, and terrorism, as well as many other aspects where India and Norway can work more closely and with greater cooperation with each other," she said.
"Being the world's largest democracy, India plays a major role in sustainable development, both regionally and globally. Both big countries like India and small countries like Norway should work towards multilateralism in times when there is increased protectionism," Prime Minister Solberg said.
"Giving importance to India's economy and the size of its territory and population the world will not be able to reach its sustainable goals unless India is involved," Prime Minister Solberg added. During her visit, Solberg also inaugurated a new Green Embassy of Norway here in New Delhi.
Speaking on trade and investment between India and Norway, Prime Minister Modi said that more than 100 Norwegian companies came to India to address the India Norway Business Summit, held on Monday, seeking for investments in areas such as ship-building, petroleum-related services, hydropower, clean energy, and information technology (IT) services.
He also hoped the India Norway Business Summit would help in enhancing foreign direct investment (FDI) of the country. India and Norway enjoy multifaceted ties.
The Norwegian Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to India, starting January 7. Her visit provides an opportunity to the two sides to review their progress in bilateral cooperation and discuss ways to further expand the multifaceted partnership in areas of common interest. (ANI)