India, Denmark vow to jointly combat COVID-19, share info on testing kits and vaccines

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India, Denmark vow to jointly combat COVID-19, share info on testing kits and vaccines
New Delhi, May 12 () India and Denmark on Tuesday discussed the threat posed by COVID-19 to a globally connected world and vowed to jointly fight the pandemic by exchanging information on medical research, testing kits and development of vaccines.

The two countries also deliberated upon the challenges posed by the "deep global economic crisis" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held his first virtual joint commission with his Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod and reviewed bilateral ties.

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This was the third India-Danish Joint Commission Meeting (JCM).

The two ministers noted that the pandemic is posing a significant threat to a globally connected world and forcing countries to restrict travel and interaction, a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said.

"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 statement said.

Jaishankar and Kofod welcomed the dialogue between the Statens Serum Institute in Denmark and the office of the principal scientific adviser in India.

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They noted that the challenges of a deep global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also creates new opportunities for green transition and provide a new sustainable way forward for societies of the two countries creating new jobs and growth, the MEA said.

India and Denmark are well placed to take full advantage of such development and show global leadership, it said.

Jaishankar said discussions strengthened focus on clean technology, urbanisation, renewable energy, green solutions and food processing.

"Did my first virtual Joint Commission today. Couldn't be with a better counterpart - FM @JeppeKofod of #Denmark," Jaishankar tweeted. "Would encourage colleagues in other countries to follow suit."

"A productive review of our ties. Strengthened focus on cleantech, urbanisation, renewable energy, green solutions and food processing. And an even stronger political partnership," he added.

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The two 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, the MEA said.

Close government-to-government cooperation has already been established in water, urban development and animal husbandry and dairy, it said.

In renewable energy, a new five-year India-Denmark Energy Partnership can build on the existing strong cooperation, the statement said.

Both ministers discussed the growing participation in the International Solar Alliance and Denmark expressed its interest in joining this alliance at the earliest.

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.

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They 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 also discussed that the recently constituted Joint Working Group on Digitization would meet soon, the MEA said.

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 recognised 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, the MEA said.

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They agreed that a focus area could be green technologies promoting innovative solutions in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and both sides emphasized the urgent need to increase and facilitate more activities and linkages in these areas, it said.

Both sides discussed the importance of innovative use of online and virtual interaction to ensure continuity of diplomatic and political contacts.

Jaishankar and Kofod 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. ASK ANBANB
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