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Great scope for bilateral ties with India: Norwegian PM

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Monday said that there was a "great scope" to develop bilateral partnerships with India in areas such as business, trade and investments.

"As India continues to be the fastest growing economy in the G20, we see a great scope for the Norwegian-Indian partnerships in business, trade and investments," Solberg said at the Indian-Norwegian Solutions for Sustainable Growth-seminar here.

"It is against this backdrop that Norway has just launched a new strategy for our engagement with India. This reflects the importance we place on our bilateral relations."

According to Solberg, the aim of the new strategy is to strengthen Norway's bilateral relations and economic ties with India.

She further said that open and free trade were crucial for economic growth.

"A stable global framework for trade and investment is vital for both our countries, especially in times like today when we are seeing increased protectionism in certain markets," Solberg said.

"We are doing what we can to ensure that the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement between EFTA and India will be finalised soon. This agreement will contribute to increased trade and a better environment for our businesses."

The Norwegian Prime Minister is on a three-day state visit to India that began on Monday during the course of which she will deliver the inaugural address at the annual Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference on international issues.

She further said: "Norway and India are both ocean states, and closer cooperation in this field will benefit both countries. The 'Ocean Dialogue' between Norway and India will be an important tool to bring this cooperation forward."

At the same event, India's Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation

Suresh Prabhu said: "We aim to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next 7-8 years, making a way for Norwegian companies to play a key role by investing in India."

"It's a great time to bring in sustainable growth in a manner that is economical. The three pillars for collaborative growth are trade, investment and technology. With these 3 pillars, we will not just walk the path but run the path to sustainability."

Around 100 Norwegian companies are present in the Indian market like Yara in fertilisers, Statkraft in hydro power, Aker Solutions, a provider of products, systems and services to the oil and gas industry, Jotun in paint, Evry in technology, DNV GL in risk management services and Orkla in food.

--IANS

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