Stockholm [Sweden] April 18 (ANI): India and Nordic countries on Tuesday pledged to deepen cooperation at the Nordic Summit hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipila, Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdottir, and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg participated in the summit.
A Joint Statement after the summit said that the Prime Ministers pledged to deepen cooperation between the Nordic countries and India, and focused their discussions on key issues related to global security, economic growth, innovation and climate change.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Prime Ministers acknowledged that innovation and digital transformation drive growth in an interconnected world, and underpin a growing engagement between the Nordic countries and India.
"The role of the Nordic countries as global innovation leaders was underlined. The Nordic approach to innovation systems, characterised by a strong collaboration between public sector, private sector and academia, was discussed, and synergies were identified with India's rich pool of talent and skills," the statement said.
The Summit emphasised the Indian Government's strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India and Clean India. Nordic solutions in clean technologies, maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture were mentioned.
The Summit welcomed the Nordic Sustainable Cities Project aimed at supporting the Smart Cities Programme of the Government of India.
The Prime Ministers noted that the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries offer immense opportunities for trade and investment diversification and mutually beneficial collaboration.
"During the talks, the importance of the rules-based multilateral trading system as well as open and inclusive international trade for prosperity and growth was underlined. The Ease of Doing Business practices were emphasised as a priority for both the Nordic countries and India," said the statement.
The Prime Ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism are major challenges for the international community. They discussed global security, including cyber security, based on their shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and their commitment to uphold the rules-based international system. They also discussed export control and non-proliferation.
The Nordic countries welcomed India's application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and reaffirmed their commitment to work constructively within the Group with the aim of reaching a positive outcome at the earliest opportunity.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their support for the United Nations and the Secretary-General's reform efforts to ensure a UN fit to support Member States to deliver on Agenda 2030 and took note of his proposals to strengthen the UN, including in the areas of development, peace operations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.
The Nordic countries and India reaffirmed the need for reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century. The Nordic countries agree that India is a strong candidate for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council expanded with both permanent and non-permanent members.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their full commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. They agreed to continue efforts to develop cleaner energy systems, renewable energy and fuels, increased energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner energy production.
The Prime Ministers noted that women's full and meaningful participation in political, social and economic life is key to inclusive development and agreed to promote the empowerment of women.
The Prime Ministers agreed that a strong partnership can help spur innovations, economic growth, sustainable solutions and mutually beneficial trade and investments. The Summit emphasized the importance of strong people-to-people contacts through education, culture, labour mobility and tourism - all areas where the Nordic countries and India see a continuous increase in both interests and numbers. (ANI)