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Norwegian envoy May-Elin Stener calls India EFTA-TEPA agreement 'historic'

World Saturday 18/May/2024 08:28 AM
By: ANI
Norwegian envoy May-Elin Stener calls India EFTA-TEPA agreement 'historic'

New Delhi: Norwegian Ambassador to India, May-Elin Stener on Friday called the recently signed India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement 'historic' in the India-Norway relationship and said that the pact will be an important instrument to enhance trade and investments between the two countries.

"We have an extremely productive and constructive dialogue at the political level. The date the 10 March 2024 is historic in our relationship. On that day we signed the EFTA India Trade and Partnership agreement here in Delhi. The agreement will be an important instrument to advance trade and investments and increase people-to-people contact between Norway and India," she said while speaking at Norway's National Day celebrations held at the Norwegian embassy in New Delhi.

"Norway is hosting the India- Nordic Summit. We look forward to this high-level meeting and hope this will give yet another big boost to our collaboration. During my eight months in India, I met so many impressive, kind, positive and welcoming people. I have visited ten Indian states that now celebrate vibrant Indian festivals and learned about the most important Indian fashion, crickets. Thank you for all the wonderful experiences. My impression is that Norwegians and Indians get along very well and I believe that the people-to-people contact is important for our bilateral relationship," she added.

On 10th March, the EFTA States and India signed the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA). The EFTA States undertake to maintain the abolition of all customs duties on imports of industrial products, fish and other marine products that originate from India.

The National Day celebrations were held at the embassy with the aurora borealis theme and Union Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi presided over the event as chief guest. May 17, is observed as Norway National Day.

Moreover, MoS Lekhi also addressed the gathering at the event and underscored the long-standing relationship between the two countries, asserting that the two countries experiencing unprecedented growth in the bilateral relationships.

"Our relationship is, and it's important to understand that trade and commerce doesn't happen in air. Trade and commerce need to have a basis and the basis is the connection of people to people. And that people-to-people connect is what brings people together, and helps them understand each other. And with changing times, changing history, changing patterns, the pattern of today between the two countries has also changed," she said.

"And I can very proudly say the relationship has not been so good ever before and in future hold still better days for both countries. And wishing this the very, very best, the relationship between the two countries and its people the very best," she added.

She also highlighted the growth in trade between the two countries in the past decade and underscored that the trade between the two countries has touched the mark of USD 2.5 billion.

"I must say that the trade and commerce is another area, bedrock being the constitutional democracies that the two countries are. But on that foundation, the building is built by trade and commerce and economy. And the two countries share quite a lot. To just mark these statistics, in 2013 and 2014, before our government came to power, the trade and commerce brought in a business of which is less than USD 1 billion and today it is USD 2.5 billion," she said.

MoS also shared details about her participation in the event on X saying, "Happy to join the National Day reception at the Norwegian Embassy. Cherish our warm and friendly ties. Reaffirmed our commitment to deepen and expand our cooperation bilaterally and in multilateral fora."