Norway has praised India for accepting a UN court ruling on its maritime boundary dispute with Bangladesh in 2014 as a “very, very good example” of New Delhi abiding by democracy and a rules-based world order amid a rising trend of countries resorting to “might is right”.
“Democracy and rule of law, particularly in a changing world where authoritarian regimes are getting stronger…For us as a small democracy, a country like India being democratic really matters,” said Norwegian Ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvag.
“It is very important for us to have a rules-based world order.. India is the only big country we know of that accepted the UN court outcome of a sea border dispute with Bangladesh, a smaller country. It is a very, very big example, a very important one,” said Kamsvag at a talk on India-Norway relations on Tuesday.
In July 2014, a UN tribunal awarded Bangladesh 19,467 sq km of 25,602 sq km sea area in the Bay of Bengal, or nearly 80 per cent of the area under dispute with India. Both India and Bangladesh had welcomed the decision of the Hague-based UN tribunal.
Kamsvag said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg during their meeting earlier this year had signed an MoU on ocean dialogue on cooperation on blue economy.
“The next day eight secretaries from India and a bigger delegation from Norway, sat down to work on cooperation in blue economy. I am happy to see the progress,” the envoy said.
Norway, the third largest exporter of natural gas in the world, is also keen to export LNG to India via the sea route.
The envoy said his country is also keen to cooperate in the field of renewable energy with India. Though Norway exports oil and natural gas, it does not use the fossil fuels for generating electricity in the country, and instead uses hydropower. Norway has huge wind farms and floating wind energy farms — or floating wind turbines, and is keen to cooperate with India in this field, the envoy said.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, said to be the largest in the world which manages $1 trillion of Norway’s assets, has invested $11.7 billion in India at the end of 2017, an increase of $2.5 billion from 2016.
During his meeting with his Norwegian counterpart, Prime Minister Modi had invited Norway’s government Pension Fund Global to consider investing in new sectors in India.
The Norwegian envoy said Norway would be happy to invest in Indian companies.