India-Norway Bilateral Relations
Beginning with the first official contact on 21.2.1947 through a telegraphed message from Foreign Minister Halvard Lange to India’s Special Envoy V.K. Krishna Menon in Stockholm confirming the Norwegian government’s in principle agreement to establish bilateral relations, India and Norway have had cordial and friendly relations. The two countries respect each other for commonly shared values such as democracy, human rights and rule of law. In recent years, both countries have been increasingly tapping bilateral economic and technical complementarities.
India is an important partner to Norway, where increased trade, investments and economic cooperation with mutual benefits are the topmost priority for the two countries.
During the last years, the number of enquiries from Norwegian companies that would like to enter the Indian market has gone up significantly. 90 Norwegian companies are established in India. Indian companies are getting large contracts in Norway. Norwegian investments in India are estimated to close to USD 10 bn. Norwegian businesses have directly generated at least 10.000 jobs in India. Norwegian companies are showing increased interest in recruiting Indian IT professionals and engineers. Also, Norwegian businesses are doing well in India, Telenor being an excellent example. During the first six months of 2014 the Norwegian Embassy issued almost 10% more business visas for Indian citizens, compared to the same period last year.
There are two visible indicators of growing business cooperation between Norway and India. The Norwegian Business Association (India) (NBAI) was established in 2013 with the aim to promote bi-lateral relationships and promote business in general between India and Norway. It has grown to approximately 60 members today. Secondly, India has been chosen as the host of the “Norway Asia Business Summit 2015”, which will be held 16-18 April 2015 in New Delhi, thereby illustrating the important role India has as a business partner in the region.
Historically, Norway was among the very first countries to recognize India’s independence, actually on Independence Day itself in 1947. The diplomatic relations date back to 1952 and Norway’s very first international development cooperation was within fisheries in Kerala in the 50’s.
The overall Indo-Norwegian cooperation covers wide areas such as energy and climate change, energy, environment and biodiversity, clean technologies, geohazards, health, gender, local governance, culture, and business. The partnership is founded on mutual interests and respect. It is in the self-interest of both countries that they work together to solve the global challenges in inter-related areas such as energy, environment and climate change.