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Press Releases, 2/9/2009

Minister Väyrynen in India: WTO solution would restore hope in economic recovery

Press release 42/2009
6 February, 2009

When meeting with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry in Delhi on 6 February, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen emphasised the importance of finding as quick WTO solution as possible.

“A breakthrough in the WTO negotiations would generate faith and confidence in international economy and would give a positive impetus to economic recovery,” the Minister said during his meeting of more than two hours with his Indian colleague. India is one of the key parties in the WTO negotiations. Both of the Ministers were still awaiting what kind of a trade policy the new US administration would adopt.

Ministers Väyrynen and Nath also discussed both the bilateral and the EU-India economic relations. There have been hopes that the trade between India and Finland would double between 2007 and 2011, but, according to Väyrynen, this year will pose special challenges to achievement of these goals. India’s particular hope is to increase co-operation between small and medium-sized companies. India also values Finland’s strong competence in various fields of high technology. During the talks, solutions related to clean technology in particular (so-called Cleantech Finland) came to the fore.

Väyrynen met also India’s minister of information and broadcasting and minister of science and technology. The latter offered Finland an opportunity to participate in the technology summit to be organised in India towards the end of 2009 as a partner country. The ministerial meetings were also attended by representatives of Finnish enterprises.

In Delhi, Minister Väyrynen participated also in the Sustainable Development Summit, the organiser of which is the TERI institute chaired by Nobel Laureate Rajendra Pachauri. In his address, Väyrynen underscored the importance of creating a new economic model for, for instance, addressing the challenges of climate change.

“The current Western economic model is not sustainable. Instead, we need a new system that is less degrading to the environment and more in keeping with the principles of sustainable development,” the Minister stressed.

Väyrynen had also talks with Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and Director of the Earth Institute. Finland is co-operating with the institute directed by Sachs in Kenya within the framework of so-called Millennium Village and Millennium City projects. The aim of the collaboration is to bring balance to regional development and establish wide-ranging regional development co-operation.

Further information: Advisor to the Minister Päivi Nevala, tel. +358 +358 40 753 4375, and Deputy Director General Pekka Puustinen, Department for the Americas and Asia, tel. +358 40 481 9892

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Updated 2/9/2009

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