4th meet of India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy concludes successfully

The fourth India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy was held in a virtual avatar on 9 June 2021, chaired by Norwegian Ambassador to India, HE Mr Hans Jacob Frydenlund and Mr Ratan Watal, Member Secretary, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC to PM).

“Blue Economy partnership is the cornerstone of the bilateral cooperation between India and Norway. Since the creation of the Task Force in 2019, our cooperation has expanded and deepened”, said  the Member Secretary, EAC to PM, Government of India.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused disruptions to ocean industries and coastal tourism globally, but the potential for growth and job creation is substantial. Investing in the Blue Economy now can help countries out of the crisis, and make sure that the global community builds back better and greener.

“The Indo-Norwegian Blue Economy partnership is already contributing to this. In the last year, Norwegian companies have entered into new contracts with Indian counterparts, creating jobs and enabling transfer of green technologies,” said Ambassador Frydenlund.

Two key MoUs have also been signed in this regard: one between the Norwegian university NTNU and DG Shipping, who will cooperate on establishing a Maritime Knowledge Cluster. And one between the Norwegian company Greenstat and the Indian Oil Corporation on setting up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen.

Recently, a new India-Norway Integrated Ocean Management & Research Initiative has also been established, with the hope that it will help plan and improve the management of ocean resources, enabling an expansion of ocean industries without harming the environment.

“On that topic, I want to commend the Government of India on its new Draft Policy Framework for India’s Blue Economy. The draft clearly shows how committed India is to combining production and protection in the Ocean, making it a perfect partner for Norway,” added Ambassador Frydenlund.

Results after the third Task Force meeting in 2020 were also highlighted, especially on the inclusion of the private sector in joint initiatives, creating solid ground for public-private partnerships. The parties agreed to enhance cooperation on green shipping, ocean research, fisheries, energy, marine and plastic pollution, and more. 

The meeting was well represented from both sides with attendance from the Indian Ministries of Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shipping, Tourism, External Affairs, Department of Fisheries, Director-General Shipping, and several institutions and business bodies. From the Norwegian side, Innovation Norway, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Climate and Environment and other official bodies, companies, business organisations and research institutions took part.