Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari, who is in India, aims to discuss the comprehensive agenda from trade, telecom to defence with India.
Minister Ville is holding discussions with the Ministry of Commerce, Department of Telecom, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Railways, and a few business and high-level interactions.
Finnish Trade Minister Ville Skinnari speaks with Financial Express on a range of issues in New Delhi.
“I have a very comprehensive agenda to discuss here in India,” Minister Ville said.
Cooperation in emerging technology
Finland and India are building a joint framework to address the critical technologies, especially 5G and futuristic 6G Mobile Technologies with India.
Minister Ville will be leading Finland’s Smart Infrastructure Seminar in Mumbai on February 10 which highlights Finland’s Carbon Neutrality Efforts, Smart City, Infrastructure, and more in partnership with MIDC and the state of Maharashtra.
With India, Finland is also focusing on the low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from renewable biomass and waste resources that have the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, giving airlines solid footing for decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from flight.
“We can build joint ventures in these areas,” he proposes.
Building upon the close cooperation, both countries have initiated several new mission modes programs like electric vehicles, cyber-physical systems, quantum technologies, future manufacturing and green hydrogen fuel. India sought a joint collaboration with Finland in solving issues of societal challenges.
Recently, Finland and India also signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Migration and Mobility to work jointly towards developing a common framework of arrangement and cooperation to facilitate greater mobility.
Both countries will work jointly towards developing a common framework of arrangement and cooperation to facilitate the mobility of students, academics, researchers, business people and professionals and to combat irregular migration.
“We are looking forward to having Indian students studying and working in Finland,” says Minister Ville Skinnari on greater mobility.
“A milestone in India-Finland relations,” Skinnari remarks on the Joint Declaration of Migration and Mobility with India.
Indian companies have a major presence in Finland, especially in the Information Technology (IT) sector. The leading Indian IT Companies, including TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech-Mahindra, Wipro Technologies, L&T Infotech, and ITC Infotech have opened offices in Finland. Among them, TCS has the largest number of Indian IT professionals at nearly 400. Finland is strong in the IT sector, with industry, academic and R & D capabilities in telecom equipment, gaming, edutech, IoT and related areas. They are investing in strengthening the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of their industry, developing 6G and focusing on data privacy.
There is considerable scope for partnerships between Indian and Finnish companies based on these capabilities. Finland is also inviting Indian IT companies to set up data centres due to low energy costs.
The Finnish defence, aerospace and security industries focus on certain niche areas in the military domain. Finland is leading in advanced materials, armoured vehicles, turreted mortar systems, logistics, and electronics.
“We are looking forward to discussing space, and satellite-based technology with India,” Skinnari remarks.
“We are building an ‘India-Finland Team’ to promote all such areas,” Skinnari said.
Minister Ville Skinnari also highlights the ongoing EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA). He says the deal will open the single largest market for India. He says, “Finland looks at it as a great potential.”
India’s bilateral trade with the European Union rose by 43.5 per cent to $116.36 billion in 2021-22.