India, Norway to expand trade to new levels

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Manipal, Apr 28 (UNI) The Ambassador of Norway, Ann Ollestad today said the Norwegian government and the Indian government, working actively to expand trade and cooperation to new levels, give priority to environment and sustainable development, trade and industry, research and education and gender and culture.

Speaking to reporters, after inaugurating the restored and rehabilitated Mangalore Christian House by Hasta Shilpa Trust, she said Norway would support India to achieve its ambitions regarding economic development and social equality.

India had implemented a number of economical reforms since beginning of the 90s and had seen solid economic growth, especially in the IT sector, she said.

Referring to India's great culture and heritage, Ms Ollestad said India was recognised for its wonderful architecture and urban planning right from the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation, where well planned towns like Mohenja-Daro and Harappa were built.

Architecture was both an art and a science, she stressed.

The Norwegian embassy has a particular focus in its cultural programme, particularly with regard to architecture, public space and landscaping, she said.

She said foreigners came to India to study the history, the religion and the culture, not only for its antiquity but for the recognition that cultural heritage had created today's complex society and the world's largest democracy. Preservation of physical structures and buildings were important for people's cultural identity and it will add value to local tourism and to the local economy, she added.

Complementing the management of Hasta Shilpa, particularly Mr Vijayanath Shenoy, the Norwegian Ambassador said Norway had contributed to the restoration of this heritage village. The Embassy conducted an event in Hyderabad last month to mark the opening of the new international airport, which was designed by Norwegian architects.

These two events coincide with the Norwegian Embassy's ambition of strengthening the cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture in general and architecture in particular, she added.

Earlier, President of the Trust, Mohandas Pai said A M Fernades of Pietro Statuary Company and William Pais of Orchid Framing Gallery of Mangalore had provided good number of missing components, artefacts and stained glasses which were originally parts of the rebuilt Christian House.

Marking the occasion, the First Secretary of Royal Norwegian embassy, New Delhi, Anne Lise Langoy planted a sapling of Easter Lilly inside the premises of the Christian House.

UNI MA GKT SP GC2230

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