India and Finland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in New Delhi on Jan. 15, to further defence cooperation between the countries.
The MoU was signed between Defence Secretary of India, Ajay Kumar, and Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Defence of Finland, Jukka Juusti, on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020.
The MoU is on co-operation in the field of Production, Procurement, Research and Development of Defence-related Equipment and Industry. Under the broad ambit of the MoU, cooperation between Finnish companies and Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) could be also explored, according to a statement by the Indian Ministry of Defence.
A draft MoU between the two countries in the field of defence cooperation amongst others was under discussion since the DefExpo 2018 and has now been formalised in the run-up to DefExpo 2020, to be held in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow between February 5-9, 2020.
In 2019, Juusti had led a delegation to Aero India in Bengaluru and post his visit, the Permanent Secretary had evinced their interest to participate in Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ program and formalise an arrangement for Defence Industrial cooperation through an MoU.
On February 13, 2016, Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipila had bilateral discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India for the inauguration of the ‘Make in India’ week. On April 17, 2018, Prime Minister Modi held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Sipila during the first India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. Also, a delegation from Finland had visited India between November 29 – December 02, 2018, to explore new business opportunities for Finnish companies.