PM to visit Helsinki for India-EU summit
For Finland, the visit by the Indian premier will be a double bonus since it has just taken over the presidency of the 25-member EU.india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 19:46 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to attend the India-European Union (EU) summit in Helsinki on October 13.
For Finland, the visit by the Indian premier will be a double bonus since it has just taken over the presidency of the 25-member EU.
Work on the summit has started, with Indian and Finnish officials deliberating the agenda.
The meet will give added momentum to the burgeoning relations between India and EU that began during the last meeting in New Delhi.
Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen will co-chair the summit, the seventh in the series.
"We have already started preparing for the visit. India enjoys a very vibrant image in Scandinavian countries and its products and enterprise are highly valued," Indian ambassador Pradeep Singh said.
"We are looking forward to welcoming the Indian economist prime minister. There is a huge untapped potential in areas of trade and technology," said a senior Finnish official.
During his three-day visit to Finland, Manmohan Singh is likely to be accompanied by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal and key officials from different ministries.
Manmohan Singh is known widely in this part of the world as the man who ushered in economic liberalisation in India in 1991.
There is also a likelihood of bilateral discussions between Singh and Vanhanen on October 14 that will address issues of accelerated trade and technological ties between the two countries, a senior Indian diplomat told IANS.
During his maiden press conference as chair of EU presidency on July 1, Vanhanen spoke about "deepening cooperation between India and the EU in the coming days".
Responding to a question from a group of Indian journalists, he said EU was yet to take a position on whether it would support Shashi Tharoor, India's candidate for the post of UN Secretary General. "The EU has to coordinate its position... I don't know the details."
He, however, admitted that it was the turn of Asian countries to have their nominee as Secretary General. "The candidate ought to be very good," he added.