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India and Finland have agreed to carry mutual cooperation between the two countries to a new level in a number of areas of bilateral as well as global interests, an official statement said on Monday (14 November).

The decision was taken during a meeting between Finland's Minister of Education and Culture Petri Honkonen and Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh at North Block in New Delhi.

Honkonen was accompanied by a high level delegation which later held a separate meeting with the Indian delegation in the presence of the two Ministers.

The two nations decided to enhance cooperation in areas such as Digital Partnership in Future ICT, Future Mobile Technologies and Digital Education.

They also emphasised on having institutionalised joint working groups on areas of mutual interest.

Honkonen's visit comes in the wake of the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin during a Summit meeting on 16 March last year.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Personnel, Singh said that the bilateral STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) collaboration between the two countries is an attempt to stimulate innovative R&D projects that address a specific need or challenge; demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential; and aim to deliver benefit to all participants, and more broadly, to both nations.

Singh conveyed to the Finland Minister that India is keen to develop research collaborations with Finnish R&D institutions.

He also said that India wants to develop technology collaboration with Finnish Industry especially focusing on the application of Quantum Computing.

Honkonen assured Singh that Finland is keen to cooperate with India in 5G, Environment and Clean Technologies, Bio-based Economy, BioBanks and Affordable Healthcare, according to the statement.