India – Finland Relations

Finland and India have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations. In recent years, bilateral relations have acquired diversity with ongoing collaboration in research, innovation, and investments by both sides. Finland sees India as a market for its products and a favourable investment destination for its high technology industries. India views Finland as an important member of the EU and a repository of modern technology.

High-level visits - Prime Ministers

  1. Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visited Finland in 1957
  2. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi visited in 1983.
  3. Prime Minister Pt. Manmohan Singh came to Finland in 2006.
  4. Mr. Vieno Johannes Sukselainen in 1960 - First Prime Minister of Finland to visit India
  5. Prime Minister Mr. Kalevi Sorsa in 1984.
  6. Prime Minister Mr. Matti Vanhanen visited India in March 2006, February 2008 and February 2010 (last two occasions to attend Delhi Sustainable Development Summit).

Presidential Visits

  1. President of Finland Mr. Urho Kekkonen visited India in 1965
  2. President Mr. Mauno Koivisto in 1987
  3. President Mr. Martti Ahtisaari in 1996.
  4. President Mrs. Tarja Halonen visited India in January 2007, February 2009 and February 2012 to attend the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
  5. President Shri V.V. Giri visited Finland in 1971
  6. President Shri R. Venkataraman in 1988.

President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, paid a State Visit to Finland on 14-16 October 2014 accompanied by a high level delegation including Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, four Members of Parliament, Officials, academicians and a business delegation. He met his counterpart President Mr. Sauli Niinisto, Prime Minister Mr. Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister Dr. Erkki Tuomioja and Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Eero Heinoluoma and addressed a Business Seminar. Agreements for cooperation in New and Renewable Energy, Biotechnology, Civil Nuclear Research, Meteorology, Healthcare and Education were signed during the visit

President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, paid a State Visit to Finland on 14-16 October 2014 accompanied by a high level delegation including Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, four Members of Parliament, Officials, academicians and a business delegation. He met his counterpart President Mr. Sauli Niinisto, Prime Minister Mr. Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister Dr. Erkki Tuomioja and Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Eero Heinoluoma and addressed a Business Seminar. Agreements for cooperation in New and Renewable Energy, Biotechnology, Civil Nuclear Research, Meteorology, Healthcare and Education were signed during the visit

On 17 April 2018, PM interacted with his counterparts from five Nordic countries, at the first India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm. PM Juha Sipila of Finland also participated in the Summit. PM also had a bilateral meeting with PM Sipila the same day, during which the ongoing bilateral cooperation was reviewed. Both sides agreed to cooperate in areas such as energy, vocational education, space and enhance ongoing levels of trade and investment.

Parliamentary Exchanges

  1. Mr. Eero Heinaluoma, Speaker of Parliament visited India in April, 2012.
  2. Mr. G.S. Dhillon, Speaker (Lok Sabha) visited Finland in 1957
  3. Mr. Balram Jhakar, Speaker (Lok Sabha) in 1986
  4. Mr. P.A. Sangma, Speaker (Lok Sabha) in 1997
  5. Mr. Manohar Joshi, Speaker (Lok Sabha) in 2003
  6. Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker (Lok Sabha) in June 2006.

Ministerial visits:

  1. Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Erkki Tuomioja visited India in May 2013;
  2. Minister for International Development Mr. Pekka Haavisto attended ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in India in November, 2013;
  3. Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Mr. Alexander Stubb visited with a business delegation in October, 2013.
  4. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines visited Finland 3-5 November, 2016.,
  5. Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Housing, Energy and the Environment visited India 3-5 October, 2017.
  6. Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs visited Finland 5-7 November, 2017.
  7. Ms. Anne Berner, Minister for Transport and Communication visited India 13-14 November, 2017.
  8. Mr. Timo Soini, Foreign Minister of Finland visited India from 22-24 November for the fourth Global Conference on Cyber Security (GCCS) in New Delhi. He also met Foreign Minister and MOS(MJA).

Foreign Office Consultations

Discussions on bilateral matters, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest are held regularly at the level of Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs and Director General in the Finnish Foreign Ministry.The last FOC was in India on 6 October 2016, led by Secretary (West). The next FOC is due to be held in Helsinki in 2018.

Bilateral Agreements:

i. Trade Agreement (1967); replaced by Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in March 2010.
ii. Setting up India-Finland Joint Commission (1974).
iii. Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation (1983); amended January 2010.
iv. Cultural Agreement (1983).
v. Memorandum of Understanding on Textiles (1993).
vi. Air Services Agreement signed 1995, modified in May 2006.
vii. Bilateral agreement on Promotion & Protection of Investments signed 2002.
viii. Agreement for Cooperation in Science & Technology 2008.
ix. MoU for cooperation on Information Security January 2010.
x. MoU for Cooperation in Road Transport May 10, 2010.
xi. Social Security Agreement June 2012 and implemented w.e.f. August 1, 2014.
xii. Arrangement for Cooperation in Nuclear and Radiation Safety Regulation October 2014.
xiii. MoU for cooperation in Renewable Energy October 2014.
xiv. MoU for cooperation in Biotechnology in October 2014.
xv. Implementing Arrangement for cooperation in Atmospheric Environment in October 2014.
xvi. Gainful Occupation for Family Members of Members of a Diplomatic Mission or Consular Post on 1st August, 2016.
xvii. Agreement for visa waiver for diplomatic passport holders on 6 November, 2017.

Economic and Commercial Relations

India’s trade in goods with Finland crossed $ One billion and is in Finland’s favour. Trade in services is also growing and has crossed US$1 billion with many Indian IT companies positioned in Finland.

Finland is India’s 60th largest trade partner globally, and the 10th largest within the EU (Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India 2017). Similarly, India is Finland’s 23rd largest trade partner globally, and the fifth largest within Asia (Finnish Customs 2017).

Main export items from India: Electronic goods, mineral fuels and mineral oils, ready-made garments, cotton including accessories, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, articles of iron and steel, machinery and instrument, coffee, rubber, iron and steel, organic chemicals and nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts thereof.

Major imports of India from Finland: Electrical machinery and equipment, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, paper and paper board, iron and steel, pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material, pulp and waste paper, vehicles and transport equipment etc.

(in US$ million)

Financial Year 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 (April - Oct)
Exports to Finland 248.60 272.67 166.43
Imports from Finland 1002.37 1011.67 683.88
Total Trade 1251.14 1284.34 850.31

                                                                Source: Ministry of Commerce, Government of India

Investments:

As per FDI statistics (DIPP, India) Finnish companies had invested US$ 419 million between April, 2000 to July, 2017. Within the EU, Finland ranks 12th among countries investing in India (Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India 2017).

India’s investments in Finland have crossed US$900 million including some acquisitions. In March 2017 India's largest auto component company Motherson Sumi Systems(MSSL)acquired 93.75% stake in Finland-based PKC Group for around Euro 571 million($ 620 million orRs 4112 crores). This is the largest Indian invest and acquisition inFinland. In 2012Indian company Trivitron Healthcare, acquired Ani Labsystems – a group consisting Ani Biotech, Ani Labsystems, Biopoint and K3, which manufacture medical testing equipment.Mahindra Holidays and Resorts has invested in the Finnish company 'Holiday Club Resorts Oy', acquiring over 95 % of the company’s shares.

More than 100 Finnish companies now have operations in India, including through investments. Nokia, Kone, Wartsila, UPM, Fortum, Metso,Huhtamaki, Salcomp, Ahlstrom, etc. have set-up their manufacturing facilities in India. Finnish IT companies Tieto and F-Secure have established operations in India.Nokia has offices in Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai, and a Global R&D center in Bengaluru with 3000employees.

About 30 Indian companies, mainly in the software and consultancy sector are active in Finland. Among them are TCS, WIPRO, Infosys, L&T InfoTech, Tech-Mahindra, HCL Technologies and others. Investments from India have started, including through acquisitions.

R & D and Technology cooperation
There are ongoing bilateral programs for industrial R & D cooperation supported by India’s Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology; and the counterpart Finnish organisations. Finnish Meteorological Institute and Indian Meteorological Institute, TERI and others in India, are doing joint studies about climate change, air quality, air pollution etc in India. A Finnish commercial and micro-satellite was launched in January 2018 through ISRO. Indian start-ups participated for the first time in SLUSH in Helsinki in Nov-Dec 2018, one of the world’s largest events to connect start-ups with investors.

Cultural Relations:

Finland is very receptive to Indian culture. There are several Indian dance schools and training centres for Yoga. Cultural events are organised by Indian Associations and other organisations promoting Indian dance and music (both classical as well as contemporary). A Finnish India Society has been active since 1956. Embassy has been organising International Day of Yoga for 3 years. India Day was organized in Helsinki in 2016 and on 17 June, 2017 attended by about 4000 persons. The third edition of India Day will be held on 26 August 2018 in Helsinki.

Tourism:

In 2016, 18,371 Finnish tourists visited India especially toGoa and Kerala, though other destinations are becoming popular. With direct Finnair flights from Helsinki to New Delhi, E- Tourist Visa scheme available since 1 January 2010 for Finnish citizens has enhanced mobility. India Tourist Office organises Road Shows in Helsinki regularly and participates in the Helsinki Tourism Fair MATKA every year.

Indian Community:

The total number of persons of Indian community is 11,611. There are about 5016 Indian citizens living in Finland and 6595 PIOs as of end of 2016. They livein mostly in Helsinki and surrounding regions. Majority of Indians who had settled immigrated during 1980s and 1990s from Punjab and are engaged in the restaurant business.In recent years, many Indian professionals, joined Finnish high-tech and IT companies like Nokia and Indian companies like TCS, WIPRO, L&T, Infosys, HCL, Mahindra InfoTech. There are a some Indian/PIO academics working in Finnish universities. The number of Indian students at Finnish universities is currently at779. They are pursuing Masters and Doctoral programmes in Computer Science, ICT, Engineering and biotech. Since August 2017, non-EU students are being charged a tuition fee. Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences offer some scholarships.

Useful Resources:

Embassy of India, Finland website:

www.indianembassy.fi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInFinland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndEmbFinEst

April 2018