Copenhagen: Denmark is India's “very unique partner” in its efforts to grow back greener due to the central European nation's strengths, experiences and best practices which are enormously helpful for a country like India at this stage of its development, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

Jaishankar, who is here on the last leg of his visit to three European nations -- Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark to boost bilateral ties and further strengthen India's cooperation with the European Union (EU), co-chaired the fourth round of the Indo-Danish Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) along with his Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod on Saturday.

In a statement issued after the JCM meeting, the External Affairs Minister said what is unique about India's relationship with Denmark is that Denmark is the only country with which India has a green strategic partnership.

“Everybody says build back better, but we also want to grow back greener. And in growing back greener, we think Denmark is a very, very unique partner, because you have strengths and experiences and best practices which are enormously helpful for a country like India at this stage of its development,” Jaishankar said.

It was Jaishankar's first visit to Denmark and the first by an Indian foreign minister in 20 years, according to the Ministry of External Affairs' press release issued in New Delhi.

The two countries went through the Joint Commission which had devised a joint action plan for the next five years, he said.

“We looked at how the joint action plan has delivered even in the middle of Covid,” Jaishankar said as he complimented officials on both sides for their work in the last one-and-a-half year to ease all the travel problems.

“We had 10 working groups in our joint commission. We just added an 11th one, on health. Its relevance is obvious given the context of the Covid,” he said.

On enhancing the bilateral trade ties, Jaishankar said he met five chief executive officers of “very important” businesses, the key businesses who are in India, who can make a big difference, companies like Grundfos, Vestss, Maersk, Haldor, Topsoe and CIP as well as the major chambers who are concerned with business which includes DIDE, Danish shipping and Agriculture and Food Council.

“We have 200 Danish companies operating in India. We have a growing number of Indian companies today here. We also discussed how apart from our own bilateral cooperation, how we could carry forward, our larger trade investment agreements with the European Union and which we have, I believe have Denmark's support.

“We have also discussed the Covid situation. How we have each coped with it. What are the lessons and what are the challenges posed by Covid in terms of travel and mobility. Because, in this globalised world, we have tourists, we have students, we have seafarers, we have aircrews and we have to find some way by which their life and their professions are made better than they have been for the last year,” the External Affairs Minister added.

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