According to reports, keen to expand its trade relations with India, Finland will send its Foreign Trade Minister to the country to explore business opportunities to further boost bilateral ties with its fourth largest trading partner in Asia.
“India has multitude of business opportunities to offer to Finland,” Alexander Stubb, the Foreign Trade and European Affairs Minister, told PTI.
Stubb will be travelling to India with a business delegation in October and he will visit New Delhi and Mumbai.
“Trade has grown vigorously in the 21st century but remains modest in the light of the potential volumes. About 120 Finnish companies have established operations in India and about 100 trade with Indian businesses through local arrangements,” he said, adding that about 24 Indian companies have established operations in Finland.
“We hope to have many more (Indian companies),” he said. During the last decade trade between the two countries increased significantly making India Finland’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia.
The main Finnish exports to India comprise electrical machinery along with machinery for special industries, and paper products. The Finnish imports from India principally include textile products, clothing and machinery instruments.
“We have planned the focus being on the following sectors: Energy, Environment, Cleantech (Clean Industrial Products), Life Sciences (Diagnostics and Medical Equipment) and ICT but we shall see what will be the final composition of the delegation,” Stubb said.
Talking about the much discussed India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Stubb said, “We are very much in favour of concluding an FTA with India as soon as possible. However, in order to satisfy the expectations of our companies active in the Indian market, the level of ambition of the agreement needs to be sufficiently high.”
“The agreement would bring substantial benefits to both parties, in terms of a stable investment environment, lower tariffs for goods and better market access for key services sectors. Having an agreement in place would also be helpful in the elimination of trade barriers,” he added.