India’s dive into a blue economy

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India has recently begun its development of a more sustainable, blue economy. An Indo-Norwegian collaboration will work to make this happen.

There is a global change in the shipping industry. An increased focus on sustainability and digitalization has led to more development of new green technologies in the maritime sector. In this case, India is no exception. The country is currently in the process of making its maritime sector more sustainable. So far, Indian inland waterways and coastal shipping are being developed as safe sustainable modes of transportation. India is also playing a crucial role in anti-piracy missions in the Indian Ocean – a topic of relevance for Norway, that also operates in the area.

As a leading maritime technology nation, Norway has a strong presence in India. More than hundred Norwegian companies are operating in the country, and about 65% of those are from the maritime sector. With Norway’s long experience and India’s maritime potential, a new collaboration on the shipping industry has come to light through a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Maritime, established in 2010.

The JWG works to strengthen the cooperation between the Norwegian and Indian maritime sector, and has since then had six meetings covering a range of topics related to the ocean economy. The sixth meeting of the JWG Maritime recently took place in New Delhi. Clean fuel technology for water transport, research collaboration and skilling of Indian seafarers and officers were some of the topics discussed in the meeting. Both India and Norway have agreed to further strengthen their cooperation for the development of safe and sustainable shipping in India and globally.

The Norwegian delegation was led by Birgit Løyland, Director General Maritime in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry & Fisheries. The delegation had participation of Innovation Norway, Consulate General in Mumbai, Norwegian businesses, Norwegian Maritime Authority, LNG Network, and Eksport Kreditt Norway, among others. The Indian side was led by Mr. Rabindra Agarwal, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Shipping. There were also representatives present from DG Shipping, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Cochin Shipyards Limited (CSL), IR Class Society (IRS), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), and Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA).