New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) India and Denmark on Monday decided to elevate their ties to a 'green strategic partnership' that aims to create a framework for significant expansion of cooperation in areas of renewable energy, environment, economy, climate change and science and technology.
The decision was taken at a nearly hour-long virtual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen during which they also deliberated on the long-pending India-EU free trade agreement, the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global supply chains.
Joint Secretary (Central Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs Neeta Bhushan said at a media briefing that the issue of Purulia arms drop mastermind Kim Davy figured in the talks, and it was agreed that the officials concerned of the two sides will be in touch for an early resolution of the matter.
India has been demanding the extradition of Davy from Denmark to face trial in the sensational case.
On the overall outcome of the talks, Bhushan said: 'The two prime ministers agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a green strategic partnership. Our prime minister stated that this was a new age partnership and will take add a new dimension to our bilateral relations.' She said the move will help the two countries in the expansion of economic relations and green growth, and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges with a focus on the implementation of the climate change goals.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Modi said the coronavirus pandemic has shown that it is risky for global supply chains to be highly dependent on any single source, adding India was working together with Japan and Australia for supply-chain diversification and resilience.
'The events of the past several months have made it clear that how important it is to work together for like-minded countries like ours, which share a rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and Democratic value-system,' he said.
The prime minister said cooperation between like-minded countries in vaccine development will also help in dealing with this pandemic.
A joint statement issued after the talks said the two sides agreed to cooperate in a range of sectors like energy, climate change, environment, water, circular economy, sustainable urban development, trade, shipping, food, agriculture and life sciences.
According to it, ambitious goals and actions will be identified within the areas and outlined in an action plan that will be worked out and endorsed as soon as possible.
'The green strategic partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities with a focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goal,' it said.
It said Modi and Frederiksen appreciated the deep cooperation in maritime affairs and noted the potential for enhancing cooperation in shipbuilding and design, maritime services and green shipping, as well as port development.
The joint statement said both sides expressed their commitment for working towards an ambitious, fair, and mutually beneficial trade and investment agreement between the European Union and India. The negotiations for the pact have been stalled for several years.
The two prime ministers expressed their joint wish to enhance cooperation in the specific areas of water supply, water distribution, wastewater treatment, sewerage systems, re-use of treated wastewater, water management and energy optimisation in the water sector through the Indo-Danish Water Technology Alliance, it added.
Bhushan said Modi proposed setting up of India-Denmark green energy park in areas where there are large numbers of Danish companies.
He also proposed setting up of India Denmark Skill Institute so that the Danish companies will be able to get skilled manpower as per their requirement.
Modi also stated that the concept of circular economy should be added and a time-bound action plan needs to be drawn up, the joint secretary said.
'The PM mentioned the mantra- Denmark has the skills and India has the scale. To this 'scope' and 'speed' should be added. He also welcomed Denmark's decision to join the International Solar Alliance,' the official said.
According to the joint statement, the two prime ministers agreed to join efforts to support and promote a rule-based multilateral system which includes cooperation to face the urgency to step up global efforts to combat the global challenges on energy and climate change.
'Both sides supported the need for cooperation on promotion of an open, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system under the WTO at its core to promote global growth and sustainable development,' it said.
It said both sides reaffirmed their determination to strengthen cooperation and contribute for comprehensive reforms of the WTO.
'Both sides agreed that the reforms need to be inclusive and to be carried out in a transparent manner, high priority being the restoration of a full-strength Appellate Body as part of the two-tiered Dispute Settlement System of the WTO,' it said.
It also said that both sides agreed that the Arctic Cooperation within the framework of the Arctic Council has a global dimension and is essential for addressing the need of environmental protection and combating climate change.
'The two leaders acknowledged the shared values of human rights, democracy and rule of law and agreed to cooperate in multilateral fora to advance democracy and human rights,' it added. PTI MPB RT