November 22, 2019
The latest joint commission came on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations
Bilateral trade between India and Finland had totaled US$1.4 billion in 2018-19
Finnish firms have invested around US$440 million between April 2000 to June 2019
The 20th session of the bilateral Joint Commission will be held in Helsinki in 2021
The 19th Session of the biennial India-Finland Joint Commission was held in New Delhi over November 20–21. The agenda for the crucial joint commission included WTO issues, India-EU BTIA, bilateral trade, and investment relations, and associated challenges and opportunities. The latest meeting came on the 70th anniversary of India-Finland diplomatic relations. Over the years, India-Finland cooperation has expanded over a wide array of issues, with the EU member now regarding India as a strategic partner for balanced and comprehensive trade relations. At the latest joint commission, the two sides also discussed cooperation in industries related to energy, environment, cleantech, ICT and science, education and skill development, and labour mobility, transportation, among others.
The joint commission follows an official visit by Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar to Finland in September 2019. During the visit, the foreign minister had held meetings on a broad spectrum of bilateral relations with senior officials and leaders of the Finnish government. The visit was in pursuant to a meeting of the Prime Ministers of India and Finland on the margins of the India-Nordic Summit in 2018 in Stockholm. Bilateral trade between India and Finland had totaled US$1.4 billion in 2018-19. Services form a big part of that trade relationship with a growing number of Indian IT firms positioned in Finland. Finland is India’s 60th largest trade partner globally and the 10th largest within the EU. Similarly, India is Finland’s 23rd largest trade partner globally and the fifth largest within Asia.
Presently around 100 Finnish companies have operations in India while about 30 Indian firms mainly from the software and consultancy sector are active in Finland. Finnish companies have invested close to US$440 million between April 2000 to June 2019. Within the EU, Finland ranks 12th among countries investing in India. Apart from trade and investment relations, the two nations have partnered in boosting science and technology R&D that have created value for a wide range of stakeholders. Strengthening ties have also led to cooperation in building grassroots entrepreneurship and sustainable businesses.