India and Denmark: Forging a Sustainable Future with the Green Strategic Partnership
India and Denmark share strong economic, political, and cultural ties, that date back to the 1800s - however, in the last few years, this relationship has deepened immensely. This is more so the case since the signing of the Green Strategic Partnership between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Mette Frederiksen in 2020. The Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and promote green growth, create jobs, and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities.
This partnership signifies the two countries’ commitment to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contribute to the mitigation of the global climate crisis. The GSP is even more relevant in the context of both countries pledging to reduce their carbon emissions by 2030 and focuses on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Focus sectors identified under the partnership include water, urban development, renewable energy and intellectual property rights and working groups for each have been instituted in both the countries.
Indian and Danish commerce is envisioned to be the primary vehicle for the implementation and execution of this all-important agreement. Currently, there are over 140 Danish companies in India, and over 60 Indian companies in Denmark. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US $1.35 Bn in 2021, while cumulative FDI inflow from April 2000 to March 2021 was US $677 Mn. This makes Denmark the 29th largest investor into India. To further support this exchange, several associations to look after their collective interests have also taken birth in both India and Denmark. Examples of these include Indo-Danish Chamber of Commerce (IDCC), Confederation of Danish (DI) Industry and Indo-Danish Business Association (IDBA).
Moreover, over time, India and Denmark have had several high-level exchanges and engagements that have culminated into this integral partnership, reflecting high levels of political motivation on both sides. In January 2020, Foreign Minister Mr. Jeppe Kofod visited India to attend the 5th edition of the Raisina Dialogue and engaged with the Indian PM Mr. Modi and the External Affairs Minister to discuss strengthening bilateral ties in all spheres and the prospects of a Green Strategic Partnership. In 2021, a detailed India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership Action Plan was concluded by both countries.
The Joint Action Plan (JAP) was chalked out earlier this year with all the stakeholders in agreement. The JAP highlights that Danish companies with the pertinent technologies and expertise will help India in meeting its air pollution control targets, specifically the key problem of burning crop stubble. Finally, it includes efficient ways of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperative efforts in water efficiency, construction of India-Denmark energy parks and an India-Denmark skill institute to train Indian manpower. The Action Plan has already been mobilized by both sides and is progressing in all identified sectors.
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