India-Finland relations have gained importance in recent years with many collaborations being made. Read here to know more about the diverse and emerging relations between the countries.
Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs met India’s Union Minister of State Science & Technology.
- They announced the decision to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing.
- The Indian side has identified three premier institutes viz IIT Madras, IISER Pune, and center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) Pune for Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing.
Highlights of the Meeting
India is enthusiastic to develop research collaborations with Finnish research and development institutions and technology collaboration with Finnish Industry focusing on the technology domains and application of Quantum Computing in areas such as:
- Sustainable Energy Technologies (generation, conversion, storage, and conservation), Environment and Clean Technologies,
- Biobased Economy, BioBanks, and Biobased materials for different applications,
- Water and Marine Technologies,
- Food & Agri Technologies,
- Affordable Healthcare (including, Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Instrumentation),
- Technologies for Advanced Manufacturing, Integration of Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning all domains.
The Department of Science & Technology has initiated several new mission mode programs like Electric Vehicles, Cyber-Physical System, Quantum Technologies, Future Manufacturing, Green Hydrogen Fuel, etc, and sought collaboration with Finland in solving issues of societal challenges.
The Finnish companies will partner with India for Carbon-neutral technologies and enhance cooperation for Sustainability in Climate Change.
The Finnish Minister also invited India to explore the possibility of deeper cooperation in Finland’s Biobank project to mediate high-quality human samples for medical research to promote the development of new products and services that promote public health.
History of India-Finland relations
The year 2022 marked 73 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries as it was established in 1949.
India and Finland have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations. In recent years, bilateral relations have acquired diversity with collaboration in research, innovation, and investments by both sides.
The Indian community in Finland is vibrant and well-placed. Indian culture and yoga are very popular in Finland.
The countries have shared numerous high-level prime ministerial and presidential visits over the years.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual bilateral meeting on 16 March 2021. In their first meeting, the Prime Ministers had an extensive discussion on how to deepen concrete cooperation between their countries and addressed several key international issues.
India-Finland Bilateral Agreements:
- Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed in March 2010.
- Setting up India-Finland Joint Commission (1974).
- Cultural Agreement (1983).
- Agreement for Cooperation in Science & Technology 2008.
- Arrangement for Cooperation in Nuclear and Radiation Safety Regulation October 2014.
- MoU for cooperation in Renewable Energy October 2014.
- MoU for cooperation in Biotechnology in October 2014 – Renewed Nov 2018.
- Implementing Arrangement for cooperation in Atmospheric Environment in October 2014.
- MoU on Establishment of ICCR Chair of Indian Culture and Society, 20 August 2018.
- MoU for cooperation in Cyber Security – Jan 2019.
- MoU for cooperation in space launch and peaceful uses of outer space – Jan 2019.
- MoU for cooperation in vocational education Training – March 2019.
- MOU for R&D Cooperation between DST India and Business Finland – August 2019
- Joint Declaration of Intent between Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland for Cooperation in Digitalization, November 2019
- MOU for Cooperation in Defence Production, Procurement, R&D of Defence Equipment, January 2020.
- MoU on cooperation in Environment, November 2020
- MoU on Cooperation in Geology/Mining, December 2020
India-Finland Economic and Commercial Relations
In 2020–2021, Finland was India’s 69th largest trade partner globally and the 11th largest within the EU. Similarly, in 2020, India was Finland’s 27th largest trade partner globally and the 6th largest in Asia.
Finland’s top imported goods from India
- Medicinal, pharmaceutical products
- Articles of apparel and clothing accessories
- Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles
- Manufactures of metals
- Electric machinery and parts
India’s top imported goods from Finland
- Machinery for special industries
- Electric machinery and parts
- Paper, paperboard, and articles thereof
- Metalliferous ores and metal scrap
- General industrial machinery
Investments: Finland ranks 37th in terms of country-wise FDI Equity Inflows into India.
India-Finland: Other areas of cooperation
Information Technology and Emerging Technology:
A Joint Declaration of Intent signed between MEITY and the Minister of Economy in Finland on cooperation in the field of Digitalisation was signed in November 2019.
- It provides for cooperation in information exchange between public and private entities of both countries in the field of digital development, strengthening collaboration in the fields of eGovernment, m-Governance, smart infrastructure, eHealth, and e-Education, promoting emerging technologies such as AI, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc., promoting cooperation in Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing, among other things.
Finland is a leader in 5G/6G technology and Nokia is a world leader in providing the associated infrastructure. Top Indian IT companies are looking to collaborate in this sector. During the 4th Joint Committee meeting on S & T in November 2020, 5G was identified as one of the three areas for future collaboration between India and Finland.
Science and technology:
An agreement for Cooperation in S&T was signed in February 2008 for the development of innovation policies, exchange of information and scientists, and R&D collaboration.
There are successful partnerships from 2004 between Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), India Meteorological Department (IMD), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in air quality including capacity building.
Like other Scandinavian countries, Finland is renowned for vocational education. An MoU between NSDC India and EDUFI in the Finnish Ministry of Education for Cooperation in Vocational Education Training was signed in January 2019.
Finland is very receptive to Indian culture. There are several Indian dance schools and Yoga schools. Cultural events are organized regularly by Indian Associations and other cultural organizations promoting Indian dance and music (both classical as well as contemporary).
India-Finland relations are crucial for India-EU partnership, and cooperation in the arctic region. Both countries can work together on regional and global issues, trade relations, and UN reforms.
The countries have also noted the potential for India and Finland to cooperate in undertaking developmental activities in Africa.
Also, India has invited Finland to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
India can also benefit from Finland’s leading role in clean and green technologies, and noted the potential for Finnish companies to partner with India’s drive towards sustainable development.