Re-energising India-Denmark relations

Re-energising India-Denmark relations

Aside from strategic alignment, the India Denmark relationship has several other synergies to explore.

It was only last month that the Indo Danish Green Strategic Partnership was announced at the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. The first of its kind partnership that India has ever signed with another country, this partnership is expected to open the floodgates to a whole range of green and clean technology applications in India. The joint statement released by both countries states that the Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities with a focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Extensive scope

Denmark is currently one of the leaders in green technology and sustainable business practices and as such is strategically aligned with many of India's core objectives around addressing climate change, sustainable urbanisation, energy production, water usage, waste management amongst others. India's rapid economic progress, widespread urbanisation, diverse geography, culture and density of population make it a unique market ripe for application and implementation of innovative technology that can help solve many of India's socio-economic and ecological challenges. The kind of innovation and technology that Denmark happens to have expertise and experience in.

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Sustainable energy

India was the third-largest energy consumer in the world after China and the United States, according to the BP Statistical Review of 2019, and its need for energy supply continues to climb as a result of the country's dynamic economic growth, population growth, and modernization over the past several years. According to the data release by the World Resource Institute, India's urban population is expected to grow from 377 million in 2011 to 590 million by 2030 and in order to maintain its growth rate of 5-7 percent, the country's energy consumption is projected to increase by 54 percent between 2011 and 2020. Under the Modi Government, the country has been steadily making the transition to using more and more renewable energy to meet its consumption. However, in order to fuel its economy and progress while minimising environmental impact, India urgently needs to roll out cleaner and greener technological solutions, whether it is to solve its water woes or meet its energy demands. Here's where Denmark's role is integral.

Denmark sources more than 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, of which more than two-thirds comes from bioenergy, which is energy stored in organic material or biomass.

In 2018, the Indo-Danish cooperation on renewable energy began with a Strategic Sector Cooperation with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) focused on offshore wind and the new 5-year India-Denmark Energy Partnership is expanding the cooperation to include both MNRE and the Ministry of Power (MOP). These agreements in addition to the new green strategic partnership will help Danish companies looking to invest in India in capacity building, knowledge-sharing and technology transfer on wind energy, energy modelling and integration of renewable energy.

Wind, water, waste

The Indo-Danish cooperation on renewable energy began with a Strategic Sector Cooperation with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) focused on offshore wind.
The Indo-Danish cooperation on renewable energy began with a Strategic Sector Cooperation with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) focused on offshore wind.

India is currently facing one of its biggest water crises to date. According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people. Recent reports state that by 2030, the country's water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual six per cent loss in the country's GDP. In order to tackle its water woes, a new ministry, Jal Shakti (water) ministry was formed with an aim to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024. And here's where the Danish expertise in water management, purification and management of point-source pollution will hold India in good stead.

The Danish businesses such as Grunfos known for pioneering solutions in all areas of water management sewage treatment, energy recovery, desalination, have already set up operations under the Make in India initiative in the country. These solutions won't just go a long way in solving India's water woes but also help in big river clean-up projects such as the Clean Ganga Programme.

Made in India by Denmark for the world

In fact, over 140 Danish companies are already present in India and participating in the Make in India programme. During the bilateral virtual summit, PM Modi proposed the setting up of an India -Denmark energy park and an India-Denmark skill institute to enable Danish companies to hire skilled labour locally.

Danish expertise in robotics will also go a long way in lending heft to making India's supply chain infrastructure robust and resilient. In fact, Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Denmark for joining India, Japan and Australia's efforts at building an alternate supply network.

Aside from strategic alignment, there exist several other synergies between India and Denmark. The Indian start-ups would benefit immensely from exchanging ideas and collaborating with their Danish counterparts, just as Danish SMEs and start-ups alike would benefit tremendously from access to a wide and diverse market such as India, not just for their products but also to develop newer and innovative technologies.

**Want to know what it's like to do business in Denmark Don't forget to watch out for our upcoming interview with Ruchikar Dalela, Country head for Denmark, TCS.

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