Kochi, May 8: Indian entrepreneurs can tap the lucrative European Union market by setting up base in Bavaria, the largest and most industrialised state in Germany, German Deputy Consul General Horst Pfeifer said today.
Making a presentation on 'India and Germany, Growing Relationship - Focus on Bavaria', Mr Pfeifer said some 60 Indian companies had already set up their offices or manufacturing units in Bavaria at an investment of more than US$ 900 million.
These included Dr Reddy's Pharmaceuticals, TCS, Satyam, HCL, iGate and Wipro.
''Bavaria, the largest German state, is virtually at the centre of Europe and provides a gateway for Indian businessmen to explore the EU market,'' he added.
Home to respected brands like BMW, Audi, Siemens, Puma, Adidas and Allianz, Bavaria is the heart of the hi-tech industry in Germany in areas such as IT, electronics, aerospace, automobiles, mechanical engineering and telecommunications.
With India also taking a lead in hi-tech areas such as IT and telecommunication, the entrepreneurs from the two countries had a natural synergy, Mr Pfeifer added.
Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Oommen Chandy said the Indo-German relationship had evolved into a strategic partnership over the years. Sectors such as software development, biotechnology and entertainment held immense potential for collaboration between the two countries.
Stating that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong, Mr Chandy said Indian firms were becoming globally competitive and the country was emerging as an export hub for a range of products from agricultural goods to automobilie components and IT enabled services.
Mr John Kottayil, Executive Director, State of Bavaria India Office in Bangalore, said exports from Bavaria totalled 150 billion Euros last year. Inviting Indian investment in the 19 manufacturing clusters in the state, he said all assistance was provided to potential investors.
Mr Quintus Bartscherer, Partner, KoBa-Treuhand GmbH, said Germany was in the process of enacting a new law to bring down the share capital from 25,000 Euros to 10,000 Euros.
Ms Britta Peterson-Barhnusen, Head of Passport and Visa Section, German Consulate in Chennai, said the consulate issued 38,000 visas last year, 80 per cent of which were the Shengen business visas. The target for this year was 42,000 visas. There was a 17 per cent growth in the number of visas issued by the consulate, she said.
The German consulate in Chennai receives 350 applications every day and schedules nearly 120 visa interviews daily.
The Shengen business visa enabled entry to more than 20 European countries, she said.
The seminar was organised by CII, Kerala Chapter, and the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Transport and Technology.