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India, Norway hold Foreign Office Consultations, discuss cooperation in green hydrogen

India and Norway engaged in Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) on Tuesday, exploring avenues to broaden and diversify their bilateral cooperation across various sectors such as the blue economy, renewable energy, climate and environment, and green hydrogen.

Both nations commended the recent signing of the India-EFTA TEPA in March this year, expressing hopes for its swift implementation to bolster bilateral trade and investment.

The India-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) inked the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) on March 10th. India has been actively pursuing TEPA negotiations with EFTA countries, which include Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. The Union Cabinet had previously sanctioned the signing of TEPA with EFTA states. EFTA, established in 1960, aims to foster free trade and economic integration among its four member States.

At the 11th India-Norway Foreign Office Consultations, the Indian delegation, headed by Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs, engaged in discussions with the Norwegian delegation led by Torgeir Larsen, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

The previous FOC was convened in Oslo in November 2022.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs highlighted the exceptional level of political exchanges and extensive bilateral institutional mechanisms characterizing the India-Norway relationship.

Emphasizing the significance of collaboration in the blue economy for sustainable development, including marine and maritime sectors, both nations explored avenues to broaden their cooperation in various fields such as renewable energy, climate and environment, CCUS, green hydrogen, solar and wind projects, green shipping, fisheries, water management, space cooperation, Arctic cooperation, education, and culture.

Discussions also touched upon the forthcoming India-Nordic Summit anticipated to take place later this year in Oslo, along with UN reforms, particularly in light of the Summit of the Future.

The release noted productive exchanges on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Both sides agreed to convene the next round of consultations in Oslo at a mutually convenient time.

Norwegian Ambassador to India, May-Elin Stener, later expressed satisfaction with the successful outcome of the Foreign Office Consultations, underscoring the growing and robust partnership between the two countries.

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