The Nordic countries are among the most innovative and sustainable economies in the world. They rank consistently at the top of global rankings in innovation as well as sustainability. When combined with the Baltic nations that are global leaders in niche technologies, the region of 8 nations becomes an innovation and technological powerhouse where the power of innovation is used to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of businesses and industries, cities and the society at large.

Close collaboration between research institutes and the private and public sectors is a key characteristic of the approach in these countries. While the overall base of companies is dominated by micro and small enterprises, the medium sized companies are highly advanced as compared to similar sized companies in other nations of the world. While the larger companies in the region have already forayed into India, there exist vast opportunities for Indian industry to form partnerships/JVs/technology transfer agreements with the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

This is especially the case in the current scenario when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced enterprises to think about business continuity, to rapidly innovate and re-define business models. Several new and emerging technologies such as digitally-enabled automation, AI, IoT, Industry 4.0 are becoming the primary drivers of the new normal. Parallelly, an urgent need to strengthen our digital infrastructure is also being felt in areas like work, education, training / skilling, payments/transactions, healthcare, monitoring of assets etc.

With this as a background, the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are organizing an India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave on 5 November 2020 on a virtual platform. With a theme of An Innovation-driven Partnership for Growth in a New World”, the Conclave is focused on the following sectors where the Nordic-Baltic region has expertise and India offers opportunity: