Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia's tax dispute with the Indian authorities is likely to figure in a high level bilateral meeting on Tuesday between the visiting Finnish foreign trade minister Alexander Stubb and India's commerce minister Anand Sharma. During the meeting, Sharma is expected to seek Finland's support in the upcoming WTO ministerial in Bali on issues of trade facilitation and intellectual property rights.
“The two sides will take up the Nokia tax issue and India will seek Finland's support in WTO talks. We also want more Finnish companies, especially in information technology, to set up operations here,” said a commerce department official.
Last month, Microsoft had bought Finnish mobile maker Nokia even as the phone maker had told the ministry that India has become the “least favourable market” and it made business sense to exit and export from China.
Besides, it had urged the Indian government to “act quickly to correct the wrong perception of India as a place for business”.
Moreover, Nokia is also embroiled in a row due to non refund of VAT by the Tamil Nadu government to its production facility in Chennai which was setup in 2006.
As per an MoU, the government was to refund 4% VAT Nokia pays on the phones sold in the domestic market from its plant in the special economic zone. The factory employs more than 38,000 people and has produced 800 million phones.
In 2012-13, India's exports to Finland stood at $317.27 million while the imports were $1106.85 million.