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Need better investment climate in India: Finnish cos

Top industry leaders of Finland are eager to invest in India provided the investment climate is improved and single window delivery system is put in place.

world Updated: Sep 10, 2012 23:17 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Top industry leaders of Finland are eager to invest in India provided the investment climate is improved and single window delivery system is put in place.

Speaking to a group of Indian journalists, industry honchos said India was a preferred place than China for investment because of the country’s large English speaking population and a democratic setup.

But, bureaucratic hurdles and unclear policy are the biggest reasons for Finnish companies not investing much with just 100 Finnish companies having presence in India. And, some of them see the incapability of the government to make things happen as fast as the industry wants in India a big area of concern.

“Different tax regimes, land use restrictions and ownership issues are sometimes frustrating for foreign investors,” said Andrew Benko, president of mining and construction division of Metso, which provides equipment to major Indian mining companies. “Indian bureaucracy to me is a chart of complexity.”

Matti Alahuhta, President of India’s second largest elevator and escalator company Kone, said India was a growing market and wanted the government to have a more transparent regulatory mechanism to attract more foreign direct investment.

“We should know what would be the policy for foreign investors in the next 10-15 years,” said he said, in an apparent reference to General Anti Avoidance Rules (Gaar) that provides for imposing tax retrospectively.

Some other corporate officials also referred to unending un-certainity over country’s economic policy.

“There is uncertainty over policies in India, China and United. I know the date by when this will get over in China and US. I have no such date for India,” Benko said.

President of a Finnish power company having planned major investments in India was of the view that India needs to have clarity in policies related to future technologies. “It (India) should not find itself sleeping in this fast changing world,” he observed.

Many companies such as Chempolis, Kemira, Quebec have planned investment in India for providing clean technologies and are looking for tie-ups with Indian companies. “We have technologies that can help India in solving many of its problems,” said Kari Komulaimen, Director International Network at Tekes, Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation.

Fincode, a Finnish government body, is already negotiating with several Indian companies for setting up joint ventures.


A visit to Helsinki was sponsored by Finnish government.