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Senior Finnish Diplomat Erik af Hallstrom Visits Kochi

H.E Erik af Hällström from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finland's Consul General, Mumbai, India ,visited Kochi, Kerala. Accompanied by Sujit Nair, Chairman of the Europe India Centre for Business and Industry (EICBI), this visit was part of the EICBI’s delegation program aimed at fostering collaborations between Finland and India in key sectors. The visit was packed with high-level meetings and insightful discussions, setting the stage for potential partnerships that could benefit both nations.


C.G Erik af Hallstrom and Mr. Sujit Nair at Cochin Shipyard observing a scale-model of an previous project along with Mr. Shivaram N General Manager of Business Development, Cochin Shipyard
C.G Erik af Hallstrom and Mr. Sujit Nair at Cochin Shipyard observing a scale-model of an previous project along with Mr. Shivaram N General Manager of Business Development, Cochin Shipyard

The visit began with a meeting at one of India’s premier shipyards; The Cochin Shipyard, where C.G Erik af Hallstrom and Mr. Sujit Nair were warmly received by the shipyard’s executives, including Chairman Mr.  Madhu S. Nair and Mr Shivaram N General Manager of Business Development. This session was pivotal in discussing Finland’s substantial involvement in the global maritime industry and exploring areas for collaboration. Given Finland’s extensive experience and expertise in maritime technology and innovation, the  topics discussed included Make In India,the International Free Trade Agreement (iFTA) and the implications of carbon tax on the maritime industry.


C.G Erik af Hallstrom and Mr. Sujit Nair during a meeting with Mr. Madhu S Nair, Chairman Cochin Shipyard
C.G Erik af Hallstrom and Mr. Sujit Nair during a meeting with Mr. Madhu S Nair, Chairman Cochin Shipyard

The discussion highlighted Finland’s advancements in sustainable maritime solutions, emphasizing how these innovations could be integrated into the Indian maritime sector to enhance efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The conversation also touched on the potential for joint ventures and technology transfers, which could pave the way for more resilient and eco-friendly maritime operations in India. Following the discussions, the delegation toured the shipyard’s exhibition hall, which showcased scale models of previous and ongoing projects. This tour provided an in-depth look at the shipyard’s capabilities and the scope of projects undertaken. C.G  Erik af Hallstrom’s visit to the shipbuilding centre further underscored the operational and technological advancements in maritime engineering.


C.G Eric af Hallstorm (seated, center) and Mr Sujit Nair(seated, left) along with Lekshmi Menon, founder Face Palette(seated, Right) with the students of the academy
C.G Eric af Hallstorm (seated, center) and Mr Sujit Nair(seated, left) along with Lekshmi Menon, founder Face Palette(seated, Right) with the students of the academy

The delegation then proceeded to the Face Palette Makeup Academy at Elamkulam where C.G Erik af Hallstrom interacted with makeup artistry students and faculty members including the founder Ms. Lekshmi Menon. Face Palette uses Makeup as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with a flextime skillset like makeup artistry that helps them to balance their personal and professional commitments.


C.G Erik af Hallstorm speaking at JAIN University
C.G Erik af Hallstorm speaking at JAIN University

After the interaction at Face Palette, the delegation proceeded to Jain university at Infopark  were the executives of the institution discussed about  the quality of Finnish education  and exploring possible synergies between the two nations in the education sector. The CG was given a tour of the campus. Following the tour, the CG Erik had an interactive session with the faculties of the institution



C.G Erik af Hallstorm and EICBI Sujit Nair in discussion with  Mr. Susanth Kurunthil  the CEO of Infopark
C.G Erik af Hallstorm and EICBI Chairman Sujit Nair in discussion with Mr. Susanth Kurunthil the CEO of Infopark

This was followed by a meeting with Mr. Susanth Kurunthil  the CEO of Infopark, discussions centered on aligning Infopark’s strategic focus with maritime software and design firms, an area where Finland excels. Hallstrom underscored Finland’s leadership in maritime software development and design that could attract Finnish firms to Infopark. This initiative could not only drive technological innovation in maritime software but also create job opportunities and spur economic growth in the region. C.G Erik af Hallstrom was also shown a detailed presentation on Infopark and its sister parks which elaborated on the facilities the park provided.


C.G Erik af Hallstorm and Sujit Nair listening to a presentation by Chief Operating Officer of Startup Mission Mr. Tom Thomas
C.G Erik af Hallstorm and Sujit Nair listening to a presentation by Chief Operating Officer of Startup Mission Mr. Tom Thomas

After the session at Infopark, CG Erik visited Kerala startup mission. CG Erik’s visit emphasized the importance of nurturing a collaborative environment that encourages innovation and supports startups in scaling their businesses. By leveraging Finland’s expertise in technology and innovation, the startup mission aims to foster a robust ecosystem that can drive sustainable growth and development.


Finland CG Erik speaks at Manorama event also attended by EICBI Chairman Sujit Nair

The following day, he was invited to be a Guest of Honour for Kerala’s biggest robotic-virtual reality exhibition ‘RoboVerse VR’. The event was organised by Kerala's leading media group, Manorama. In his address, he highlighted the close ties with India and Finland and said his country welcomed more and more Indians. He mentiond that Kerala is interesting from a Finnish perspective because the education level is very high in Kerala and the state has many skilled workers.


Finland CG at Raha Ayurveda along with EICBI Chairman Sujit Nair
C.G Erik af Halstorm at Raha Ayurveda

.After attending the event organised by Manorama, CG Erik visited Raha Ayurveda to experience Ayurvedic treatment. He was greeted by Dr Jiji Prasad, Asst. Chief Physician and other doctors at the Facility. He underwent a short session for a pain relief.. Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.


In Conclusion Erik af C.G Hallstrom’s visit to Kochi was marked by a series of productive engagements and meaningful discussions. The potential partnerships discussed during the visit hold promise for enhanced collaboration, mutual growth, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise.


More photos of the visit can be viewed here - https://bit.ly/FinlandCGKochi


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