'Global trade rules connect Norway with India'

'Global trade rules connect Norway with India'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifts memento to his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. PTI

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Tuesday said that both her country and India would lose if rule-based international trade was undermined.

“We cannot afford to let protectionism, discrimination and economic rivalry define our future,” Solberg, who is on a tour to New Delhi, said – apparently referring to US President Donald Trump's protectionist trade policies and the US-China trade war.

“Norway and India both benefit from rule-based international trade. We stand only to lose, if this is undermined,” she said inaugurating the Raisina Dialogue, an annual international conference held by the Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation.

“The WTO is essential for Norway and our interaction with the world. I believe rule-based trade is just as important for our partners,” she said, tacitly criticising the US move to paralyse the dispute settlement mechanism of the World Trade Organisation.

Solberg earlier had a meeting with her host Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two leaders witnessed signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on India-Norway ocean dialogue. They agreed on setting up a Joint Task Force to explore ways to promote multi-sectoral cooperation in maritime economic cooperation.

Modi and Solberg reaffirmed commitment to expand bilateral trade in order to realise its full potential. They also agreed to launch a dialogue on trade and investment, which would give impetus to business cooperation and encourage participation of Norway's companies in the flagship programmes of India.

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