New Delhi: Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Finland Jukka Juusti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further defence cooperation between India and Finland on Wednesday in New Delhi. The MoU on co-operation in the field of production, procurement, research and development of defence related equipment and industrial cooperation has been inked on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020. Under the broad ambit of the MoU, cooperation between Finnish companies and Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) could be explored.
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A draft MoU between India and Finland enhancing 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, Mr Juusti had led a delegation to Aero India in Bengaluru and post his visit, the Permanent Secretary had evinced their interest to participate in the 'Make in India' vision and formalise an arrangement for Defence Industrial cooperation through an MoU.
Three years back on February 13, 2016, the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipila had a bilateral discussion with PM Modi during his visit to India for the inauguration of the 'Make in India' week. On April 17, 2018, PM Modi held a bilateral meeting with Mr Sipila during the first India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm, Sweden to take the bilateral cooperation in the defence sector forward. Then a delegation from Finland also had visited India between November 29 to December 02, 2018, to explore new business opportunities for Finnish companies.