Raisina Dialogue: Can’t let economic rivalry dominate, says Norwegian PM

New Delhi: Inaugurating the Raisina Dialogue 2019, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg cautioned that economic rivalry between nations cannot be “allowed” to dominate world order.

“We cannot afford to let protectionism, economic rivalry take a dominant role. Free trade creates winners, protectionism does not,” she said at the fourth Raisana Dialogue here on Tuesday.

Solberg, who delivered the inaugural address, stressed on the need for global cooperation in solving international problems, and pushed for all countries to work towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, even though it is “tough”.

She also highlighted that oceans cannot be governed with the ‘might is right’ ideology and urged for global cooperation for better management of oceans.

Outlining the deep and ancient relations shared by India and Norway during her inaugural note at the event, Solberg said “Ties between India and Norway go back to the year 834, from a Viking ship discovered by a farmer in 1903. The oceans are a vital part of our country’s history and our common future. We must look to the oceans to ensure food, jobs, economic growth amongst our growing population,” while calling for conservation of the marine life and the oceans.

“Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to continuing our cooperation in ocean management. Oceans are a common good that interlinks countries. All countries of the world need to work together to ensure the right management of oceans. The principle of ‘might is right’ cannot be used for ocean governance. One thing is sure. When large countries respect international law, smaller countries like mine take note,” she opined.

Solberg also outlined that India and Norway are among a few countries which have research activities both in the North Pole and the South Pole.

While talking about a rule-based international order, Solberg stated, ” Norway and India share many values – a deep commitment to democracy and rule-base economic world order. Many people feel left out by globalisation – especially in the European political life. We have to ensure that our citizens feel the positive effects of globalisation.”

The Norwegian Prime Minister also pushed for countries to combat corruption, highlighting that corruption stops help from reaching those who need it the most.

In conclusion, Solberg, while quoting Gandhi, highlighted how people across countries need to link international agenda to national issues. “Having a world that works together to solve international issues is the biggest national issue. Don’t believe in short term policies, believe in the long ones.”

The fourth Raisina Dialogue will see 600 delegates from 92 countries participating in around 50 hours of debates and discussions.

Meanwhile, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Chairman Sunjoy Joshi announced that a conference similar to the Dialogue will be announced for Africa on January 10, to discuss development and growth.