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Powering A Green Transition With A Nordic-India Connection

Context

The Nordic nations have led the way in developing green technologies over the past few decades. Together, the Nordic countries and India can lead the necessary green transition in the world.

Relevance

GS Paper-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Mains Question

Together, the Nordic countries and India can provide the necessary technologies and solutions to halt climate change and promote green growth. Evaluate. (150 words)


Highlights

India has led the way in developing new green technologies and solutions over the past few decades, including hydrogen, offshore wind, batteries, and carbon capture and storage systems, all of which are crucial for the world to succeed in making the desperately needed transition to a greener economy.

Nordic Nations

  • The Nordic nations have also been successful in creating secure, welfare-based societies that, for the most part, manage to fulfil the needs and desires of their citizens.
  • However, the Nordic nations cannot bring about the necessary green transition on their own. The Nordic region and India can work together to deliver essential technologies and solutions to halt climate change and promote green growth.
  • The five independent nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as their two connected autonomous territories—the Faroe Islands and Greenland—make up the Nordic region, or Norden (Denmark).
  • Due to their close historical ties and long history of cross-border intergovernmental cooperation, these states are widely regarded as constituting a unique region.

Scandinavia vs. the Nordics

  • This Northern European subregion is characterised by close inter-group ties along pronounced historical, cultural, and linguistic lines.
  • Denmark, Norway, and Sweden make up the majority of it, but many scholars also include Finland and Iceland as parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula, excluding Denmark.

Nordic-India Summit

  • The five Nordic prime ministers and the Indian prime minister decided to step up their collaboration on digitalization, renewable energy, the maritime sector, and the circular economy at the Nordic-India Summit held in Copenhagen in May 2022.
  • In order to support India’s transition to a greener economy, the trade ministers of Norway and Finland are travelling to India together. The Indian Prime Minister has expressed interest in collaborative Nordic solutions. (9–10 February)
  • The purpose of the visit is to learn from the impressive innovations and digital solutions being developed in India and to demonstrate the added value to the partnership that can be brought to India.
  • Leading corporations and business delegations from industries like clean energy, the circular economy, digitalization, tourism, and the maritime sector are present with the trade ministers. They have high hopes for greater cooperation with India. The most esteemed and well-known Nordic companies are already present in India and have made significant investments. 240 Norwegian and Finnish businesses are currently operating in India.

India-Finland Trade Relations

  • Over the past year, trade and investment between the two countries have significantly increased, and Finland has begun to prioritise India.
  • This is best demonstrated by the fact that Finland recently opened a new consulate general in Mumbai, which will be formally opened on February 10. This will increase the number of Nordic representations in India’s commercial hub and strengthen ties between Finland and India.
  • A number of Indian businesses are looking to Finland for its know-how in a variety of fields, including sustainability, digitalization, carbon neutrality, and technology and innovation.
  • More and more Indian professionals, researchers, and students are relocating to Finland.
  • Finnish firms like Nokia and Fortum see India as their current largest market for growth and have made some of their biggest investments there.

Trade Relations Between Norway and India

  • Over the past three years, trade between Norway and India has doubled.
  • The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, with an estimated $17.6 billion in investments, is expected to rank among India’s top foreign investors.
  • The Norwegian government also just launched a brand-new Climate Investment Fund for international renewable energy investments, with India designated as a focus nation.
  • The climate investment fund has made nearly 1,500 crores in investments in India so far, and this number is rising quickly.

Untapped Potential For Trade And Further Cooperation

  • Both Finland and Norway are currently negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) and investments with India.
  • Finalizing the free trade and investment agreements with India is a priority for both nations. Finland is participating in the negotiations as a member of the European Union (EU), and Norway is doing so through the European Free Trade Association.
  • There are hardly any unresolved issues, and we are confident that negotiations can be quickly concluded.
  • As their exchange of goods is of a different kind, there are many complementarities in India-Nordic trade relations. Additionally, there is a lot of room for growth in the trade of services, particularly in the areas of tourism, education, IT, energy, maritime, and financial services.

Conclusion

  • Nordic nations like Finland and Norway are prepared to share their experiences and assist India in its transition as it makes rapid strides towards a green, digital, and innovative future.
  • Nordic countries have world-leading technologies and expertise to offer, despite having a population that is significantly smaller than India’s and being on the other side of the world. Technologies and innovations that are successful and scaled up in India can easily be transferred to other parts of the world. Together, the Nordics and India can be the powerhouse of the global green transition.

June 2024
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