Finland’s push for green energy and the use of waste-to-energy technology are some of the areas that the Nordic country is looking to partner with India as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. In an interview with BusinessLine , Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said India shouldn’t lose sight of the environment as it embarks on becoming a large industrial nation. Excerpts:

What are your expectations from India in terms of protecting Finnish investments?

This has to be a part of ease of doing business. For companies it is easy to do business when they can plan for the long term and rules are not changing all the time.

In Finland, if you have some difficulties, like taxation issues, they will be handled very fast and practically.

Some people feel that rather than manufacturing, India should focus on software, its area of competence…

I think India can do both at the same time. You also have some evidence, especially in the car industry. Someone asked me if India is too late because China was in the same position 10 years ago. It is never too late.

How do you see the start-up ecosystem in India?

There are many successful businesses in India and I think the people involved should start supporting start-ups as well. You cannot always depend on the government for support. Private companies need to come forward to support start-ups. We also offered our cooperation for Start-up India.

Finland’s trade with China is far higher than with India. Can the gap be bridged?

It is true that there is a difference between our bilateral trade with China and India. Our trade with China is $6 billion, while it is only $400 million with India. But India has a good vision and we are working with India to improve our trade relations.

Anything India can learn from Finland’s journey?

What we did in Finland was 30 years ago… we decided to make Finland clean. Today, our lakes and other water bodies are so clean that you can even drink from them. We need to use more of clean and renewable energy and some of the solutions that Finland has, such as waste-to-energy, can solve some of these problems.

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