By Yogesh Sood
  • H. E. Freddy Svane, Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy, India, responded to questions from Diplomatic and Business Editor Yogesh Sood on a range of bilateral issues.

Denmark and India have long-established diplomatic ties since 1949. They are based on common democratic traditions and shared desire for regional and international peace and stability. Please give us a sense of this history between our nations...

Denmark and India can celebrate our 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year. We were among the first ones recognizing the independence of Modern India.

In a historical context Danes came to India back in 1620 when a fleet dispatched by then King arrived in today’s Tamil Nadu. Trading stations were established with Tranquebar and later Serampore outside Kolkata as the main posts. Textiles and spices were traded and auctioned in Copenhagen.

In modern India Denmark - through Danida - gave development assistance starting in the early 1960s. That continued for decades. The legacy hereof is still measurable.

Many Danish companies also invested in India and they are still very much present today.

From 2008 and onwards India’s importance as an emerging market grew and attracted strong foreign interest- also from Denmark. A joint government commission was established and is today the backbone of our cooperation. Since 2020 the Green Strategic Partnership is the unique framework and driver in our relationship.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Denmark in May 2022 while Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had visited India in October 2021. Surely, the partnership has strengthened and gone to the next level as a result of these important visits. Your views please…

Our two countries have come a long way. Today both sides are seen as very valuable strategic partners and as a very friendly country. The number of high level visits and summits are a testimony to that. Our cooperation is based on the 5 guiding principles: Scale, skills, speed, scope and sustainability. Denmark is a trusted partner of India for its remarkable development towards green growth and energy transformation. Denmark is not teaching nor preaching. We inspire and want to be inspired as well.

The Danish Government has invested in India from a geopolitical perspective. We share the same values and are well established democracies. We adhere to the rule of law and multilateralism etc.

Our cooperation will develop in the years ahead and will continue to grow beneficial to both countries and beyond.

TRH Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of the Kingdom of Denmark visited India between February 26 and March 2, 2023. Surely that must have been a great fillip in our bilateral ties…

Yes, a dream came true. A royal visit is not a daily thing, but highlights the importance attached to our relationship at the highest level. We hope to see the next visit at the same level from India in 2024.

Please talk us through some of the other high-level visits that have taken place between the two countries in recent times…

We have quite a number of ministerial visits to and meetings in our respective countries. So daily activities are widening and deepening our cooperation.