The Statesman (India) | 22 October 2007
India for greater trade ties with Finland
Indo-Asian News Service
NEW DELHI, Oct. 22: Even as India works towards an India-European Union economic partnership agreement, bilateral relations with Finland need to be strengthened with greater contact between the people of the two countries, the Union commerce and trade minister, Mr Kamal Nath said here today.
"There is enormous commercial potential in a strategic alliance between a technologically advanced, mature industrial economy such as Finland and a rapidly growing developing country such as India," the minister told a Finnish business delegation at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the capital.
Referring to a recent report in which India has been ranked as the second-most attractive destination for foreign investment, the commerce and trade minister said: "While our growth is essentially domestic investment and consumption driven, foreign investment is making a significant contribution."
"We received foreign direct investment of close to $20 billion (Rs 796.5 billion) in the year 2006, and expect to receive about $30 billion (Rs 1.2 trillion) in the current year."
The Finnish business delegation includes representatives from more than 20 companies, led by Finland’s minister for foreign trade and development, Mr Paavo Vayrynen.
Some of the prominent Finnish companies in the delegation are Nokia Corporation, Finnfund, Outokumpu Oyj, OKO Bank, Alteams Oy and Cargotec Corp. Some of the big Finnish companies that have operations in India are Nokia, Kone, Sandvik and Wartsila.
"For too long the economic engagement between India and Finland has lagged behind our political ties. We need to discuss some very big flagship bilateral projects such as in public transport, ports, utilities and other public infrastructure sectors," Mr Nath emphasised.
"Finnish companies are known for taking a long-term view of their businesses. I believe that India has much to learn from their corporate philosophy and practice," Mr Nath added.