Internationalisation and India
The significance of India as a target market for the internationalisation of Finland’s trade and industry has grown. For this reason, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is focusing a higher number of innovation policy and export and internationalisation promotion measures on India. In addition to research, technology and innovation activities, the energy industry, and renewable energy in particular, energy efficiency, environmental business, education and learning and the water and waste management sectors are key sectors.
Official cooperation agreements between Finland and India are key in terms of cooperation in various fields. The science and technology agreement between Finland and India, as well as the science and technology working group operating under the agreement, are coordinated by the Enterprise and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
Finpro, an MEE Group agency, and its trade centres assist Finnish trade and industry actors in forging contacts and networks in India. It also implements industry-specific projects in the Indian market. Invest in Finland markets Finland, as a possible business location, to Indian investors. Finnvera promotes Finnish enterprises’ activities targeted at India, by granting export guarantees and loans and guarantees for internationalisation. The FinNode innovation centre, located in Delhi, is creating better opportunities than before for the development of cooperation between Finland and India.
The India network of the MEE acts as an expert network to promote communication, cooperation and networking between the MEE Group and key stakeholders involved in activities with India. Actors within the network cooperate in creating projects and events that improve the level of internationalisation of Finnish businesses, with India as the target location.
Economic cooperation between Finland and India and working groups under the Joint Commission
The agreement on economic cooperation between Finland and India entered into force in 2011. On Finland’s side, the agreement on economic cooperation and the Joint Commission between Finland and India are coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. When visiting Finland in the spring of 2010, India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma proposed the establishment of three new working groups for innovation, cleantech and vocational education under the Joint Commission. The innovation and cleantech working groups have now been established. On Finland’s side, the Enterprise and Innovation Department of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for managing these working groups.
The innovation working group held its first meeting in September 2011 in Delhi, in conjunction with the visit of the Minister of Economic Affairs Jyri Häkämies and the official opening of FinNode India. At the meeting, agreement was reached on the arrangement of joint innovation competitions, cooperation between business incubators, networking among innovative small and medium-sized companies and activation of cooperation between business organisations. The next meeting was held in Finland in June 2012. Cooperation with India among Finnish businesses and networking between companies will be supported by organising events and projects, in connection with the working group’s meetings and under its umbrella.
Finland has launched the cleantech working group’s operations during the year 2012. With the help of the working group, Finland aims to increase concrete cooperation between companies in the cleantech sector and the Indian authorities and funding organisations, utilising the working group for communications and networking between the countries. Within the working group, the MEE engages in close cooperation, for instance with Cleantech Finland.