EXPANDING TRADE BASKET, BILATERAL SMEs COOPERATION TO BE FOCUSSED: KAMAL NATH
INDO-FINNISH TRADE SET TO DOUBLE SOON
Date : 23 Oct 2007
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, while observing that the trade between India and Finland is concentrated in a few products such as readymade garments, machinery and electronic goods has dwelt on the need to encourage businesses to explore new areas and sectors to widen and deepen the trade basket. While welcoming Dr. Paavo Vayrynen, Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, here today, Shri Kamal Nath informed that India being a stable democracy is committed to reforms and this is reflected in the present growth rates being achieved by India. India has a huge skilled human resource base which can be combined with Finland’s technology and investment to create a win-win situation for both sides, he added. Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary and senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry besides representatives from the Government of Finland along with business leaders were also present during the bilateral trade meeting.
Shri Kamal Nath appreciated the growing cooperation in science and technology sector between the two countries and informed about a new scholarship programme that has been recently launched to support expert exchanges between Finland and India. “We have a successful programme of cooperation in the environment sector where a bilateral Joint Working Group exists. The initiative for cooperation in renewable energy sector needs to be encouraged. Air connectivity between India and Finland has improved substantially under the bilateral MOU on air services signed last year and the provision of multiple designation clauses has been agreed between the two sides”, the Commerce Minister said. With this, both sides can now designate any number of airlines as they wish for air services operation between the two countries, he further added. Shri Kamal Nath called for establishing linkages between the SMEs from Finland with that from India for greater business collaboration to achieve the greater objective of the bilateral trade from the present levels in the next few years.
The main imports from Finland comprise of machinery, electronic goods, computer software in physical form, transport equipments, paper board and newsprints while the exports from India comprise of readymade garments, drugs, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, machinery and instruments etc. The top Finnish companies who have invested include Wartsila, Nokia and Kone while the Indian companies who have investment in Finland include Wipro, Saskan and Avis. The bilateral trade with Finland has been consistently increasing over past couple of years with a total turnover of US $ 533 million during 2004-05, US $ 782 million in 2005-06 and US $ 804 million in 2006-07, signifying an increasing trade relationship between the two countries.