India and Iceland discussed cooperation in geothermal energy among other areas during a bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Icelandic Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson here on Saturday. “The two Ministers noted that in the areas such as geothermal energy, fisheries, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism, both countries could establish strong partnership,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement following the meeting.
“The Icelandic Minister appreciated growing opportunities for Icelandic companies in the fast-growing Indian economy,” it stated. “The two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation at multilateral and international forums.”
Ahead of the meeting, Thordarson told IANS that his country was keen to share its experience in generating geothermal energy. “Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy and we want to share our experience with India,” he said.
Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. India has been working on renewable energy initiatives with New Delhi setting up the International Solar Alliance (ISA) following the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Thordarson, who arrived here on Friday on the inaugural WOW Airlines flight that connects New Delhi with Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, said that his country wants more bilateral trade with India, especially through the export of high quality seafood. He also said that with the launch of the new New Delhi-Reykjavik flight, Iceland wants to attract Indian tourists and referred to the song “Geruwa” from the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer “Dilwale” that was shot entirely in Iceland.
Thordarson believes a smoother visa regime will boost tourist flow both ways. “Icelandic people are very adventurous,” he said. “India has very good publicity in Iceland.”
According to the External Affairs Ministry statement, Sushma Swaraj and Thordarson also discussed the possibility of enhanced cooperation in the Arctic Council, an inter-governmental forum of Arctic states where India has an observer status.