Third India-Danish Joint Commission Meeting
May 12, 2020
H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India and the H.E. Mr. Jeppe Kofod, Foreign Minister of Denmark co-chaired the Third India-Danish Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) today by Video conference. The Joint Commission was established pursuant to an agreement signed on February 6, 2008. The JCM had held its 1st Meeting in December 2010 and 2nd Meeting in December 2018, both in New Delhi.
The Ministers reviewed the current state of bilateral relations and noted that the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2019 and the 400-year anniversary of the establishment of the first trading post by Denmark in Tranquebar are being commemorated through various events and programmes. A number of Ministerial and high-level visits have helped to intensify our cooperation in a wide range of fields.
The Ministers agreed to hold Foreign Office Consultations during the second half of 2020 to discuss bilateral relations and issues of regional and global importance and a Policy Planning Dialogue to promote sharing on strategic and global trends of mutual interest at a mutually convenient date in the near future.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the 8 Joint Working Groups (JWG) – on Renewable Energy, Environment, Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Food Processing, Labour Mobility, Sustainable and Smart Urban Development, Science & Technology and Shipping. It was discussed that the recently constituted Joint Working Group on Digitization would meet soon. Both sides also explored the possibility of establishing a Joint Working Group on Health to facilitate closer cooperation between the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, including institutional collaboration and joint research.
The Ministers agreed to work towards establishing a “Green Strategic Partnership” between India and Denmark building on existing green and sustainable collaborations under the Joint Commission, which would focus on areas such as climate change, energy, circular economy, water, sustainable food and agriculture. Close government-to-government cooperation has already been established in water, urban development and animal husbandry & dairy. In renewable energy, a new 5-year India-Denmark Energy Partnership can build on the existing strong cooperation. Both Ministers discussed the growing participation in the International Solar Alliance. Denmark expressed its interest in joining this alliance at the earliest.
The Ministers recognized that there is immense potential for further expanding trade and investments, facilitating wider business-to-business contacts, and intensifying trade promotion and ease-of-doing-business activities. They agreed that a focus area could be green technologies promoting innovative solutions in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both sides emphasized the urgent need to increase and facilitate more activities and linkages in these areas.
The two Ministers noted that the Covid-19 pandemic is posing a significant threat to a globally connected world; forcing countries to restrict travel & interaction. Both sides agreed to jointly fight the Covid-19 pandemic by agreeing to share Best Practices and exchange information on medical research, testing kits and development of vaccines. The Ministers welcomed the dialogue between the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark and the office of Principal Scientific Adviser in India.
They noted that the challenges of a deep global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also create new opportunities for green transition and provide a new sustainable way forward for our societies creating new jobs and growth. India and Denmark are well placed to take full advantage of such development and show global leadership
Both sides discussed the importance of innovative use of online and virtual interaction to ensure continuity of diplomatic and political contacts. The two Ministers expressed views on multilateral issues in this context and shared the common position that there is a need to further strengthen multilateralism and work together to ensure those international organizations like the UN and WHO are strengthened and function effectively.
The Ministers agreed to work towards strengthening our bilateral relations with special emphasis on expanding cultural cooperation and increasing people-to-people contacts. Both sides agreed to move forward on holding a number of specific joint activities, including keeping up the momentum of exchange of Ministerial visits. The Danish Foreign Minister extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister of India to visit Denmark at the end of the year, which he accepted.New Delhi
May 12, 2020