India and Finland share warm and friendly relations underpinned by common values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights

India and Finland on Tuesday held the 11th round of Foreign Office Consultation in Helsinki and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.

“The Foreign Office Consultations provided an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including further strengthening of our partnership in diverse areas such as trade and investment, S&T, education, digitization, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, innovation, sustainable development, circular economy and renewable energy,” the MEA said

The Virtual Summit held on March 16, 2021 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, added a strong momentum to our bilateral relations, the MEA said.

During the Foreign Office Consultations, both sides reviewed the progress made since the Virtual Summit and also agreed to explore cooperation in new areas like vocational education, space, startups, health and pharmaceuticals, the MEA added.

Both sides noted that the presence of more than 100 Finnish companies in India and 30 Indian companies in Finland have made significant contributions to each other’s economies.

The Indian side invited Finnish companies to contribute to the flagship initiatives like Make in India, Digital India.

Both sides discussed the need for greater mobility between both countries, including movement of students and professionals. In this context, they expressed satisfaction on the recently concluded Air Bubble arrangement which will enable resumption of direct flights between India and Finland, the MEA added.

The two sides discussed the Covid-19 situation and the vaccination drive in both countries. Discussions also covered climate change and the 2030 SDG Agenda.

The Finnish side congratulated India on 75 years of India’s independence and conveyed that they looked forward to participating in the various events being organized to commemorate this momentous occasion.

Both sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest including Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific, India-EU Partnership, cooperation in the Arctic & Antarctic regions and COP-26.

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation during their terms at the UN Human Rights Council (2022-2024), and in other multilateral fora.

At the FOC, while the Indian side was led by Reenat Sandhu, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Finnish delegation was led by Matti Anttonen, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After the FOC meet, Secretary (West) paid a courtesy call on Pekka Havisto, Foreign Minister of Finland and discussed the positive trajectory in the bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global issues, the MEA added.