India and Finland sign MoC on Road Transport
India and Finland have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of Road Transport. The Memorandum was signed by Shri Kamal Nath, Minister for Road Transport and Highways at Helsinki recently during his visit to Finland. Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Transport, Finland signed the Memorandum of Cooperation from the Finnish side.
The Memorandum of Cooperation envisages exchange of information between road transport and road construction officials and experts of the two countries especially in the fields of Highways / Roads construction, operation and maintenance; planning and information management system for road administration; forms of private investments attraction for the field of public private partnership for the construction and upgrading of roads including procedure for competitive
bidding, supervision and implementation; Road traffic safety; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Intermodal Transportation; Transportation for the Mobility Disabled.
The two countries also intend to promote and develop business relations between consultancy and engineering companies in the field of roads, manufacturers of equipment, material and other products for the sector to arrive at industrial cooperation agreements and transfers of technology. Under the MoC an Indo-Finnish Joint Working Group (JWG) has been established by the two countries to promote and activate the institutional cooperation. The Minister extended invitation to convene first meeting of the JWG in India within next three months and also invited Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Transport, Finland to visit India.
It is hoped that the MoC will help both the countries discover new ways of learning from each other’s experiences in the roads and highways sector. The Minister informed his Finnish counterpart about the priority India is giving to improving its road safety record and also briefed her about the introduction of the bill on Road Safety & Traffic Management Board in the Parliament recently.
It was observed that India could benefit from some of the policies and practices in Finland. Finland has well established systems in the areas of vehicle Inspection and Certification and Accident Investigation. Accidents are investigated by special multi-disciplinary Investigation boards that examine the cause for the accident, suggest preventive measures and contribute to policy making. Finland is also examining legislation to curb drink and drive through introduction of ‘Alcohol Locks’ in vehicles.
The Minister also held meetings with Mr. Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Paavo Vayrynen, Minister of Foreign Trade & Development and Ms. Paula Lehtomaki, Minister of Environment.