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Norway will invest half of $100 billion under EFTA: Norwegian envoy May-Elin Stener

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Norwegian Ambassador to India May-Elin Stener. Photo: Special Arrangement

Norwegian Ambassador to India May-Elin Stener. Photo: Special Arrangement

Switzerland being the largest player is likely to contribute more than half of the $100 billion free trade pact India recently signed with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), while Norway will bring in the rest, with Iceland and Liechtenstein contributing as well, Norwegian Ambassador to India, May-Elin Stener, told The Hindu

India signed a four-nation trade pact with EFTA countries: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, on March 10, aiming to attract $100 billion and to create one million jobs in 15 years in exchange for tariff concessions for their pharma, chemical and minerals.

“The interest in India is high among Norwegian companies. Some 130 Norwegian companies are already in India with Mumbai and Bengaluru housing most of them. Through this new EFTA pact, we are expecting many new Norwegian entrants and investments into the Indian markets,” Ms. Stener said.

She said bilateral interactions are already underway between India and Norway, but the pact has now created a framework for such collaborations.

“We are exploring working together in diverse businesses like fisheries, agriculture, maritime, blue economy and energy transition technologies. Norway is a big global maritime player and we are a superpower in the oil and gas front and so we have a lot of expertise in these areas which we can share,” Ms. Stener explained.

On what Norway expects from India on sustainability, climate-related initiatives and green technologies, she said, India’s ambitions in these areas were already high .“Norway wants to actively contribute to India’s goals it has set in these areas. Some of the technologies we use in the oil and gas sector can be used in green energy solutions by Indian players,’‘ she added.

On expansion of collaborations in the maritime sector, the ambassador said, there were many underway between the two countries already. “Many Indian sailors are working on Norwegian ships globally. We see a lot of additional possibilities in working together on port management technologies, goods movement, shipping etc. We use some of the electrical ferries made in India in Norway,’‘ Ms. Stener said.

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