NEW DELHI: Applauding India on the way it handled the pandemic, Danish Ambassador to India Freddy Svane said that the lockdown here was imposed on a timely basis after much due diligence. He also asserted that Green Strategic Partnership will serve as a platform for improvement for both India and Denmark.
India and Denmark have had strong ties over the years. How do you think India-Denmark relations evolved?
India and Denmark are both democracies and have shared values with respect to environment, people and a host of other issues. This has helped relations between the two countries grow. The forward growth in ties was visible during the virtual bilateral summit between the two prime ministers last year. New heights were scaled in ties with the announcement of the Green Strategic Partnership, where the two countries will enhance cooperation towards building a green society.
You spoke about the Green Strategic Partnership. How do you think this will help in elevating ties between the two countries?
The Green Strategic Partnership, which was recently launched, will help both India and Denmark. While for Denmark, it will be a chance for us to showcase our expertise in the field of clean and green technology, for India it will be sort of a solution for its green problems. Also, it is important to understand that India and Denmark have been collaborating already on issues relating to climate change. The Green Strategic Partnership will serve as a platform to improve these. For instance, experts from Denmark relating to the fields of water, energy, urbanization and Intellectual Property Rights are already in India and are collaborating with the Indian government on measures needed to be taken to implement the Green Strategic Partnership.
Another important aspect that the Green Strategic Partnership will cover is employment. We have seen that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the economy and has left many people unemployed. The Green Strategic Partnership will help create jobs as many new technologies, for their implementation, will need manpower. This would be done while keeping the interest of environment in mind.
Speaking of Covid-19, you went on record to say that India has handled the pandemic well. Now, with India supplying vaccines to many countries, do you think New Delhi has a big role to play in tackling the pandemic?
I am glad you asked this question. India indeed has been very good at handling the pandemic. The lockdown here was imposed on a timely basis while keeping in mind the continuity of essential supplies. It is not like we did not have a lockdown. Denmark too had a lockdown but to effectively manage the situation in a vast and diverse country like India is commendable.
In terms of vaccine development and supply, I personally visited the facilities at Bharat Biotech and Biological E in Hyderabad to oversee the development of the vaccine. They are doing really well on that front as well. In terms of supply, it is there for everyone to see. India has been supplying vaccines - as grants and commercially - to many countries.
Where do you see India-Denmark relations in the future, especially in the post-pandemic era?
Our relations will revolve around the Green Strategic Partnership. Over the next few years, we will look to enhance our ties based on this partnership.