In a major boost for advance technology transfer to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin have announced a digital partnership that is likely to facilitate research and development of 6G mobile technology, quantum computing and digital transformation of teaching.
The two top leaders during a virtual meeting also announced a sustainability partnership involving renewable and clean energy, circular economy, and sustainable mobility while noting that “green growth” is an essential element of bilateral cooperation.
Later a joint statement issued by the two countries also stated that the two leaders have noted that the digital domain was one of the most promising sectors for an intensive India-Finland partnership and that the emphasis would be future Information and Communications Technology (ICT) with a focus on quantum technologies and computing.
Among the top technology domain cooperation include future mobile technologies, particularly on 6G research and development, and digital transformation of teaching and learning. “Essential and cross-cutting elements of all these key domains are the utilisation of artificial intelligence, cyber security and blockchain technologies,” the joint statement said.
The two countries have also announced a high-level dialogue in education between the education ministries of both countries. Modi and Marin also exchanged views on the Covid-19 pandemic and emphasised the unprecedented global efforts in speeding up the development and scaling up of manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines and promoting equitable access to all countries, the statement said.
PM Modi in his address said that both India and Finland believed in a rules-based, transparent, humanitarian and democratic global order and the two countries have strong cooperation in areas like technology, innovation, clean energy, environment and education.
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“Had a fruitful Virtual Summit with PM of Finland @MarinSanna. We discussed a broad spectrum of issues and reaffirmed our commitment to further deepening the India-Finland partnership. I invited Finland to partner us in our journey of sustainable development,” PM Modi tweeted.
Meanwhile, the two countries also plan to sign an MoU between a consortium of ten Finnish universities and 23 IITs in India for cooperation in the higher education sector. The joint statement also stated that Marin recalled the importance of universal human rights as a base for Finland’s foreign policy and emphasised that, if elected to the UN Human Rights Council later this year, her country will combine its strengths and experience, particularly in gender equality, education and digitalisation in its work.
Finland thanked India for its commitment to support the elections to the UN Human Rights Council in 2021. Referring to the WTO, both countries reaffirmed their support to an open, inclusive and rules-based multilateral trading system and reiterated their commitment to preserve, strengthen and reform the organisation.