Helsinki, June 18 (IANS) Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament, on Monday met her Finnish counterpart Paula Risikko and said that both the countries enjoyed warm and friendly relations based on common values such as a commitment to democracy and rule of law.
Mahajan said the top leadership of the two countries have provided a “new momentum” to the bilateral relations.
“India and Finland have enjoyed warm and friendly relations which are based on common values such as a commitment to democracy and rule of law. The bilateral cooperation has become increasingly multifaceted and dynamic in the recent years,” Mahajan said, according to an official statement.
Referring to the first ever India-Nordic Summit held on April 17 this year in Stockholm on the sidelines of which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila had a meeting, she said that their discussions had provided a new momentum to the ongoing engagements between the two countries.
“India is keen to increase parliamentary exchanges with Finland which would enhance people to people contacts and awareness about each other’s countries and policies, among parliamentarians,” the Indian Speaker said.
She said that Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI) in India’s Parliament, which offers one and three months’ internship programmes for young people in India to familarise them with Parliamentary functioning and legislative process, could be offered to the youth from Finland.
Noting that India-Finland economic and commercial engagements had acquired more diversity in recent years, with investments being made by both sides, Mahajan urged Finland to give a boost to such engagement — by supporting visits of Finnish companies to India so that they could get first-hand knowledge of the potential of India.
“There is also a welcome trend of Finnish companies manufacturing in India,” she said.
Referring to the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy especially renewable energy, Mahajan said she felt that Finland’s technologies and know-how in these areas could be very useful as India is reducing fossil fuel consumptions and emissions of GHGs.
She expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation in science and technology and the joint research activities with Indian agencies.
Mahajan also said that vocational education is one area in which there could be a mutually beneficial collaboration, especially under India’s flagship initiative Skill India.
She said that Risikko appreciated the developmental work and reforms taking place in India and mentioned that in the last four years, the country has greatly transformed itself.
Risikko also congratulated Mahajan on her hometown Indore being nominated as the Number 1 clean city in the country.