Ambassador Homme to the NICCI members: «India is like a super tanker, which takes time to turn. But I believe there is a captain on the bridge that means business»
-I am happy to bring good news from the great nation of India
With these words Ambassador Homme set the tone for his speech, and stated that with Prime Minister Modi and his majority government taking charge, there is an ambitious political program of change and a unique political position for the Government of actually making it a reality.
After quite a period of waiting for literally any decision until after the elections, the tension was released earlier this year. BJP came out the winner of the general election for representatives to the lower house in the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha. After 10 years, India got a new Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
What is the importance of this for Norwegian business in India? We wanted to know from the ones closest to the action in Delhi, and we were once again honored to have Ambassador Homme participating on a NICCI member meeting.
This time the goal was to get closer to the answer on “How to ride the Modi wave?”
-Modi is well aware of the hurry to deliver
Mr. Homme continues -The fact is that the expectations are very high, maybe to high, from the many people that made him Prime Minister, but we have to give him some time.
-Modi arrived in Delhi with his Gujerati model and experience, not least from making his state obtain high economic growth from private investments and business, said Mr. Homme.
He continues – this includes sectors where Norway has much to offer, like oil and gas. On Independence day, the agenda in Modis speech included good governance, financial inclusion and building a “digital India”, to promoting tourism, women’s safety, building model villages and eradicating poverty.
-In fact; The Prime Minister invited businesses from across the world to set up in India, mentioning in particular electronics, automobiles, agro value addition, paper, plastic, satellites and submarines. Modi also emphasized that goods should be manufactured with “zero defect” and “zero effect” on the environment.
Ambassador Homme: –seen from the Norwegian Embassy in Delhi, we are facing exciting new opportunities for our bilateral partnership. He told that Norway won’t wait for proof, but to participate active to see progress happening, to the benefit for both countries. In this regard Mr. Homme told us – it is important to have your Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Homme also mentioned the importance of cooperation with Indian companies entering Norway.
Ambassador Homme believe Norway has world class expertise in a number of areas vital to India.
– Allow me in particular to mention the energy sector. In order to again grow at the rate of 8% and above, India will need much more, cheaper and cleaner energy. Eivind Homme also stated that we have much to offer within oil and gas, in offshore and the Maritime sector, within renewable energy, as well as a number of other sectors like aquaculture and fisheries.
So, how should Norway ride the Modi wave?
To build an even stronger Team Norway is essential. The Embassy, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Business Association of India (NBAI) will work together in a joint approach to promote, inform and advise business, solve bottle necks and offer useful meeting places. Mr. Homme mentioned that NICCI is an important brick to provide holistic comprehensive assistance to the business sector. Mr. Homme mentioned India’s 29 states becoming increasingly important politically and economically, and that we need to be where the action is. Hence Innovation Norway’s decision to set up an office in Mumbai comes at the right moment. Homme also stressed the need of a stronger diplomatic presence in India in the future.
What about the trade agreement?
Our own Board member Torkel Thorsen from NHO didn’t miss the chance to ask the Ambassador for status of the several year long negotiations for a trade agreement with India. Mr. Homme confirmed his team in Delhi is still working hard to conclude negotiations trough EFTA.
–Such an agreement would be a boost for Norwegian companies, but the elections and transfer of power to a new government have put this work on hold.
Welcome back next year Mr. Ambassador
For all of us involved in Norway-India business, it’s always inspiring and a pleasure to be updated by Mr. Homme. We expect to see you again for a NICCI breakfast next year.
When 5-6 Norwegian companies go together, we get meetings, and we sell
Let’s hope for it becoming a tradition, since also this year the Director of Innovation Norway in Delhi, Mr. Helge Tryti joined our breakfast meeting. A year in India has obviously made him hungry for business. He gave us some very inspiring updates on his team’s efforts supporting Norwegian businesses entering India. Especially the focus on joining forces in industry sector clusters caught our attention. Check back for a separate article on this in very near future.
Thanks to Conax
Finally, a big thanks to our member Conax for hosting this successful NICCI member meeting, in their wonderful office in Oslo. We enjoyed the vegetarian breakfast as well as the very interesting introduction to the company Conax and the success you have had, especially in India.
As Mr. Homme said, -if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
Written by: Trond Skundberg