Mumbai: Finland on Saturday expressed its support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
“The prime minister of Finland reiterated the support of Finland to India to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council,” a joint statement issued following a bilateral meeting here between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila said. 
“The two countries called for forward movement in the intergovernmental negotiations on United Nations Security Council reform, and expressed their commitment to initiate text-based negotiations within the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly,” it stated. 
Sipila is in Mumbai to attend the ‘Make in India Week’ that got underway here on Saturday.
He along, with Modi, jointly digitally inaugurated Finnish firm Trivitron’s Labsystems Diagnostics IVD (in-vitro diagnostics) factory in Chennai.
According to the statement, in their joint effort to strengthen global non-proliferation objectives and the multilateral export control regimes, Sipilä took a positive view on India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.
“Both prime ministers acknowledged that there is wide convergence in views on the international political and economic situation,” it said. 
Both the leaders also “condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterated zero tolerance for this menace which seriously undermines international peace and security, growth and development”. 
“They emphasised the importance of ratification and implementation of all UN legal instruments to counter terrorism and encouraged enhanced efforts towards making progress on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” the statement said. 
The two prime ministers agreed on the need to tap the full potential of the European Union (EU)-India strategic partnership and welcomed the prospect of resumption of talks on the India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
There are over 100 Finnish companies in India and some 25 Indian companies in Finland. 
“Many of the Finnish companies in India have manufacturing plants in the country and are truly Make in India companies,” the statement said. 
Several Finnish companies are engaged in the renewable energy and clean-tech segments while a Finnish energy firm already owns two solar power plants in India and has won a bid to build a third one. 
A Finnish mobile phone network manufacturer has a research and development centre in India that employs 6,000 people and their equipment serve 280 million mobile phone subscribers, according to the statement. 
The Indian companies in Finland are operating in diverse sectors including information technology, health and tourism and have promising prospects for enlarging their investments and involvement in Finland.
Sipila welcomed the efforts of the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi himself in outreach to the business sector and linking with it in a meaningful manner, the statement said. 
Modi mentioned that several initiatives, including ease of doing business have been taken to bring in consistency, clarity and predictability in policies. 
Sipila also highlighted Finland’s capacities in the civil nuclear energy field. Finland has four reactors in operation and new ones are being built and planned. 
“Both prime ministers agreed that there would be a lot to gain to increase cooperation in innovation and transforming ideas into internationally marketable product”,” the statement said. 
“They agreed that the cooperation between universities and institutes of higher learning is an important part of this cooperati”n.” 
According to the statement, around 20,000 Finnish tourists visit India every year and the facility of eTourist visa to Finnish nationals as also recent Indian investment in Finland in this sector is going to further facilitate people-to-people exchanges.
The two sides also appreciated the recent conclusion of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between civil aviation authorities on code shares, intermodal services, routing flexibility, open sky on cargo and on domestic code-sharing.
They also appreciated the decision to move forward with a bio-refinery project for production of fuel grade ethanol, acetic acid, furfural and bio-coal from bamboo in Assam, the statement said.

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