INDIA, FINLAND TO STEP UP BILATERAL TRADE
TRADE MINISTER OF FINLAND MEETS KAMAL NATH
Date : 07 Feb 2005
Location : New Delhi
India and Finland propose to step up the level of bilateral trade which currently is far below potential, despite having increased to US $ 380 million during 2003-04, a growth of 41% over the previous year. This was indicated at a meeting between Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, and Ms. Paula Lehtomaki, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, when she called on him with her delegation here this morning. During the first six months of the current financial year 2004-05 bilateral trade has registered a growth of 45%. Finland is an important member of the European Union (EU) and is generally supportive of an open trade regime. Both the Ministers discussed bilateral as well as multilateral trade issues.
Shri Kamal Nath reiterated India’s commitment to the multilateral trade system and appreciated the role played by the European Union in arriving at a consensus that resulted in the Framework Agreement on 1st August, 2004 in Geneva providing the guidelines and principles for further negotiations in the WTO. He sought the active support of the European Commission (EC) in developing modalities on the principles contained in the Framework Agreement, including reduction of all trade distorting domestic support and elimination of all forms of export subsidies in agriculture. He also said that in respect of non-agricultural market access (NAMA), the concept of less than full reciprocity would have to be built into the formula, while underlining that the market access that developed countries offered should exceed those that developing countries had to make.
The products which have potential to step up exports from India to Finland include granite, marble & tiles, fresh/processed fruits & vegetables, floriculture, marine products, automobiles, electronics & software, drugs & pharmaceuticals, cut & polished diamonds, gold jewellery, etc. The areas having potential for joint ventures between India and Finland include food processing, electronics & software, paper, mining & metallurgy, forestry, telecommunications, energy, oil exploration technology, dairy industries, elevators & escalators, shipping & ports management, packaging, coal/biomass gasification based power and mini-hydel plants, tourism etc.