India invites Austria to participate in infrastructure development

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has invited Austria to participate in the creation and management of world class infrastructure in India.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the India-Austria Joint Economic Forum (JEC), here today, Sharma said: "We expect an investment of approximately 1.5 trillion dollars by 2016-17 for creation and up-gradation of our infrastructure."

He further emphasised that India has a large skilled human resource base, which can be combined with Austria's technology and investment to create a win-win situation for both sides.

Sharma stated that despite the global economic slowdown, there has been impressive growth in the volume of bilateral trade. Bilateral trade during the fiscal 2007-08 was of the order US 769 million dollars and it has jumped to US 1193 million dollars during 2008-09.

"Post liberalisation India has become a preferred destination for investments. In the comparative list of countries for FDI approvals, Austria ranks 31. Total FDI inflows from Austria during April 2000 to November 2009 were to the tune of US $ 72.14 million", he added.

On multilateral trade front, Sharma said that India remains committed to a rule-based multilateral trading system

"Currently there is a perception of increased costs on account of trade measures like constantly enhanced standards and complicated regulatory procedures are perceived as barriers to trade. It is important that regulations and related procedural costs are minimised through simplification of procedures / rules for inclusive trade growth", he added.

The major items of export to Austria are: drugs, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, transport equipments, machinery and instruments, gems and jewellery, manufactures of metals.

The major items of import from Austria are: iron and steel, electronic goods, organic chemicals, petroleum, crude and products and project goods. (ANI)

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