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Consular meeting 2017 in Mumbai

Maritme affairs, economic diplomacy and consular/administrative affairs were the central issues discussed under the semiannual consular meeting hosted by the Consulate General in Mumbai 23-24 February 2017. The Embassy in New Delhi, the hon. Consulates in Chennai and Kolkata were represented in addition to the host, the Consulate General in Mumbai.

Indian seamen constitutes the second largest group of foreign nationals, after the Philippines, onboard ships registered in the Norwegian International Ship register (NIS). Several thousand seamen are onboard NIS-ships.

Representatives from the Norwegian Maritime Authority gave a detailed overview of the state of NIS and the laws and regulations that applies to it. Norway has traditionally been one of the largest shipping nations in the world. The NIS was established I 1987 as a response to a drastic decline of ships in the traditional Norwegian Ship registry in the 1970- 80s.  Threatening Norway as a shipping nation, the NIS stopped the negative development and is today a huge success story. Special sessions with operating agencies and ship doctors from Mumbai were organized

The Norwegian Government is putting strong emphasis on economic diplomacy. The re-opening of the Consulate General in Mumbai in November 2015 was a direct result of this new emphasis. (In the period, 1857 – 1973 Norway had a Consulate in Mumbai. Up to 1905 together with Sweden). Innovation Norway (IN), Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), Scandinavian Tourist Board (STB) and Norwegian Business Association in India (NBAI) all gave presentations. The recently finalized “Business Climate Survey 2016” of Norwegian Businesses in India also gathered a lot of attention.

Even though the two strongest Norwegian sectors in India, maritime- and oil/gas sectors are facing challenges right now, the optimism of the business leaders was substantial. Norwegian seafood, especially salmon, have become a trademark of Norway. The NSC established its presence in India in the summer of 2016. Will Norwegian salmon “conquer” India the way it has with the rest of the world?

An increasing number of Indian films, wholly or partly, are shot on locations abroad. Encouraging Indian filmmakers to go to Norway is important. Indian tourists tend to follow post such film releases.