The market is looking for trust, says Finland Minister on lessons from the Adani Group stock meltdown

The global market is looking for trust and the flow of money follows the direction of trust, Finland’s Foreign Trade Minister Ville Skinnari said. In an exclusive chat with The Hindu, Mr. Skinnari, here on an official visit, responded to a question on the recent crash in prices of the Adani Group’s shares at the stock market, indicating that such incidents can be avoided through “smart policy making” at the level of the government, and digital transparency.

“The market is looking for trust and where is the trust, there is the money and further investment. Of course I am talking on behalf of Finland. That’s why in EU and Finland, we emphasise on trust building and smart policy making. I really believe India’s stock markets offer many opportunities for Finnish companies,” Mr. Skinnari said, suggesting ways to deal with financial irregularities and Adani Group-like crises that have the potential to create systemic shock.

Mr. Skinnari said digital infrastructure made it possible to ensure a healthy environment for establishing a business in Finland to such an extent that one could establish a business in his country without actually “visiting” it. “We are the first country in the world with a strong digital identity that helps us complete the immigration processes faster and more securely,” the Minister said, asking for more people to people contact between Finland and India. 

The Minister was in town for meeting his Indian counterpart, Piyush Goyal, and other officials as Finland is reaching out across the world seeking partners for generating clean energy and digital governance. The Minister drew attention to the digital innovations that Finland has implemented to increase transparency in the financial markets and safety for investors. 

“Policymaking is very important. In Finland, we always emphasise transparency. Because of digitalisation, everything is open and everything can be monitored and analysed, and of course we get back to the question of trust,” Mr. Skinnari said, presenting Finland’s view on a value-based marketplace, adding, “The message from our companies is that let’s build up trust, transparency and policymaking that enables more investments as well.” He invited Indians to reach out to Finland.

The Minister’s visit to India coincided with the build-up to the election season in Finland where the government of social democratic Prime Minister Sanna Marin will seek re-election in the first week of April. The election is likely to be a reflection of the mood of Europe as it deals with the impact of the year-long Russian campaign against Ukraine. Mr. Skinnari said the Government of Finland is determined to ensure that no one is left behind and that the model of a welfare state in the Nordic region will continue to guide Finland’s public policy. 

“Our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sanna Marin, has gone through a number of crises like the COVID pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine. We have shown that we have resilience. We have the trust of the people and we want to invest in people. We want to continue investment in education, social and healthcare systems. We want to ensure that nobody is left alone, and that’s the cornerstone of the Nordic welfare society, which has been the success story of Finland for 105 years,” Mr. Skinnari said.