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Last Updated : Jul 08, 2018 02:59 PM IST | Source: PTI

India should open up for more collaborations: Finland envoy

The envoy said there were areas of concern for the EU such as intellectual property rights, protection to investments and services that are to be thoroughly discussed for the Free Trade Agreement with India.

India should open up for more collaborations with other countries, though Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream "Make in India" programme may not be termed as "protectionism", Finland Ambassador Nina Vaskunlahti said.

The envoy, during her recent visit to the city, said there were areas of concern for the European Union such as intellectual property rights, protection to investments and services that are to be thoroughly discussed for the Free Trade Agreement with India.

She also hoped bilateral trade between India and Finland which was pegged at 1.5 billion Euros currently may certainly witness growth in future.

"Let us say that use of the word protectionism is a little bit too much, but I would say that more open the country, more benefits for its own concerned," the Finland Ambassador to India told PTI.

"Let us say that, I can understand Make in India programme. From the Indian point of view, it might increase local production and create employment, etc. But I think at the same time India should be open for collaboration, ideas to come in. Let's say Finnish ideas to India and Indian ideas to Finland," she added.

As far as bilateral trade with India, she said it was more exports from Finland.

"The current figure is Euro 1.5 billion for the year 2017 that includes goods and services. It is more exports from Finland to India. It is 55:45. There is lot of potential that it would grow further in the coming years," Vaskunlahti explained.

Nordic countries including Finland cannot have direct FTA with India as they are part of the EU, she said adding some issues will have to be sorted out before the FTA is finalised.

"There are quite many issues in the FTA negotiations (between India and EU). There are tariff issues, in particular car and car parts, alcohol. We have difficulties in agriculture, there are issues concerning services and intellectual property rights. And issues concerning workers' rights. There are quite big thing unfortunately," she said.

However, she hoped there would be interest on both sides to find solutions as India is an important partner for Europe and vice-versa. PTI GDK SS SS .
First Published on Jul 8, 2018 02:53 pm
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