Opinions

India-Nordic Relations and Arctic Policy

 

Photo: Jagran Prakashan Ltd

India’s Arctic Policy holds significant importance in the context of the nation’s expanding global presence. The growing India-Nordic relations play a key role in advancing this policy, highlighting India’s strategic commitment to the Arctic region.

Ahead of the forthcoming 2nd edition of CII India-Nordic-Baltic Business Conclave on 22-23 November, India and Finland conducted a comprehensive review of trade and investments, educational collaboration, digital partnerships, sustainability initiatives, and more, as part of their Foreign Office Consultations.

During the 12th Foreign Office Consultations (FOC), the sides also discussed multilateral cooperation related to Arctic issues. India and Finland held their 12th Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi on 1 November 2023. The Indian side was led by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs. The Finnish side was led by Jukka Salovaara, Permanent State Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

India’s Arctic Policy holds significant importance in the context of the nation’s expanding global presence. The growing India-Nordic relations play a key role in advancing this policy, highlighting India’s strategic commitment to the Arctic region. As a result, this further strengthens India’s ties with the European Union (EU).

Several Nordic multinational corporations, including Volvo, Ericsson IKEA, Tetra Pak, Kone, Ahlstrom, Wartsila, and Nokia, actively operate within India, strengthening the Indian market and contributing significantly to economic growth, technological cooperation, and job creation.

Besides, increased cooperation between the Nordic countries’ Smart Cities Project and India’s ambitious Smart Cities Project contributes to overall economic progress.

Presently, more than 70 Indian companies have established their presence in Sweden, and Indian firms are making a growing impact in Denmark, Finland, and Norway, particularly in the IT, automobile, and pharmaceutical sectors. All this contributes to the strengthening of bilateral relations.

India’s Arctic Policy was introduced on 17 March 2022.

The necessity for an Arctic Policy in India can be categorised into three key aspects: scientific research, climate change, and environmental concerns; economic and human resources; and geopolitical and strategic considerations. Each of these aspects contributes to India’s interest in the Arctic.

Polar research in India is currently funded under the Polar Science and Cryosphere (PACER) programme of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The funding allocated for Arctic research is comparatively modest, indicating the need for increased investment to support India’s Arctic endeavours.

The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), under the MoES, serves as the nodal agency for India’s polar research programme, including Arctic studies. The MEA also manages India’s engagement with the Arctic Council.

Source: The Indian Express

The editorial board of The Arctic Century

 
02.11.2023