Sun, 24 Sep 2023

By Ayushi AgarwalNew Delhi [India], August 30 (ANI): In her first media interview after taking charge, Norwegian Ambassador to India May-Elin Stener stated that when it comes to achieving sustainable development goals, the world is looking to India. The ambassador also expressed her delight on taking charge as the new envoy on Tuesday, when she presented her credentials to the President of India and referred to it as 'a very moving ceremony'.

In an interview with ANI, ambassador Stener on Wednesday said, "I'm really happy to be here in India, and the ceremony that I went through yesterday was a moving ceremony. It was very moving to give the credentials to the President. I think I have been off to a very good start as to the priorities. I think this is a very good time to be in India." "The world is looking at India to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We are dependent on India to achieve those goals, if the world is going to achieve them. So we would be very pleased to continue working with India to achieve those goals", she added.

The Ambassador also went on to highlight India's diversity and stressed that there are 'lot of issues' where India and Norway can work together.

"India is a very diverse country. Norway has 5. 5 million inhabitants, India has 250 times more. Although, I think that a lot of Indians have been coming to Norway, so it is also becoming more diverse. We are moving towards each other. And we were one of the first countries to recognise India as an independent country. And now when we are working towards development goals, towards the greener solution, saving climate, I think that we can work together on lot of issues", said Stener.

Speaking further on the trade relationship between the two countries, the envoy noted that'the trade has doubled' and there are lot of 'Norwegian companies in India. Stener said that 'a free trade agreement between the two countries will help to create trust among Norwegian companies'.

On the G20 Summit, which is just a few days from now, the envoy congratulated India and underlined a'lot of good initiatives' taken by it.

"First of all, let me congratulate the government of India on the G20 summit. They have used the summit to put themselves on the world map and they have taken lot of good initiatives", said Stener.

Speaking on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Norwegian envoy noted that it has changed Europe's security. However, she commended India's humanitarian contribution.

"On Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine, that has changed the security situation in Europe and for Norway, it (Norway) has stated that our position several times to the Indian government but also we are very pleased with humanitarian contribution of India and also with their clear statement ofinternational law", said Stener.

Norway and India share a strong and growing bilateral relationship in areas including the ocean, energy and environment. Bilateral trade between the two countries has doubled in recent years.

The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund is likely one of India's largest single foreign investors (around USD 17.6 billion). Norway's new Climate Investment Fund has invested 7 billion INR (974 million NOK) in renewables so far in India. There are around 200 Norwegian companies operating in India, and over 20,000 Indians live in Norway, making people-to-people linkages deep and strong. (ANI)

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