Helsinki: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday was awarded the Helsinki city Medal of Honour during his two-day his state visit to Finland.
Upon receiving the honour, President Mukherjee, during his address at the Helsinki City Hall here, thanked the dignitaries assembled.
"I thank you for presenting me the Medal of Honour of this great city and wish you every success in your endeavours for the citizens of Helsinki. In giving me this honour, you are honouring the people of India," he said.
The President also praised Helsinki and hailed its infrastructure and beauty.
"Helsinki, the "Daughter of the Baltic Sea" is a fascinating and beautiful city. As I look about me at this vibrant city, and learn about its infrastructure and capacities, I see an ultra-modern, yet environmentally friendly city. It is a very significant fact that it was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012 - in the same year that it completed 200 years as Finland`s capital," said President Mukherjee.
Confident in the improving ties between India and Finland, President Mukherjee expressed his happiness in being the first high-ranking Indian representative in more than a quarter of a century.
"I am particularly happy to be here - especially as this visit is the first by a Head of State from India after a gap of 26 years. My discussions with President Sauli Niinisto and my other meetings with the leadership of Finland have reinforced my confidence that the traditionally warm ties of friendship and co-operation between India and Finland will only intensify and strengthen in the days and years to come - to the mutual benefit of the people of India and Finland," he said.
Finland and India have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations. Finland sees in India a large market for its products and a favourable investment destination for its high technology industries while India views Finland as an important member of the European Union (EU) and a repository of modern technology.