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Germany for energy coop with India

Written by: Staff

Hannover , Apr 24: After softening Berlin's stand on the India-US nuclear deal, Chancellor Angela Merkel today said Germany too wants to intensify cooperation in the field of energy, including energy security, with India.

''We are running open doors with India including in the area of energy security and energy supplies. We want to build on this cooperation ,'' Ms Merkel said at the India-German Business Summit which she addressed along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

The German Chancellor said India is a country with a GDP growth of over seven per cent and '' we trust them.'' Addressing India's concerns over growing incidence of protectionism among the EU members, Ms Merkel said attempts on protectionism in Europe should be staved off. ''Isolation is not right for any country,'' she said.

Earlier, Dr Manmohan Singh and Ms Merkel jointly inaugurated the India Pavilion at the Hannover Messe (Fair), 2006 in which India is the Partner country. Both Dr Singh and Ms Merkel walked around different stalls put up by Indian companies like TVS Group, and the PSUs in the power sector.

As many as 370 Indian companies are participating in the world's largest trade fair, which began with an impressive official opening ceremony last evening. A high beam laser show was combined with Kathak dancers from India who were also joined by folk artistes playing drums and dholaks to the audience that included the Prime Minister and the German Chancellor.

In an address at the India-German Global Summit, Dr Singh said his government would provide enabling environment for the German companies willing to increase investment in India. He talked about Indian companies going global. ''Indian firms are becoming globally competitive and we are witnessing the rise of Indian multinationals.

India has become a production base and an export hub for a range of products from agricultural goods to the automobile components to high-end IT-enabled services,'' the Prime Minister said.

He said many German companies have leveraged the advantage India offers to set up R and D facilities and business process outsourcing operations. Other corporations are also increasingly aware of the enormous opportunities that a market of over a billion consumers offers. Consequently, it is no surprise that German companies are planning to expand their operations in India and make India their manufacturing hub for the region. ''This is smart strategic planning. Our government will support this process,'' Dr Singh said.

UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallaya who signed an agreement with the Airbus for purchase of five A 340-500 aircraft, said it was a matter of great pride for India to be partner of the largest trade fair.

''The trend should have started earlier,'' Mr Mallya said. He said Kingfisher Airlines has plans to start service to Germany as well in the near future.

As for beer, Mr Mallaya said he has already launched the Kingfisher brand in India which would give tough competition to the famous German brands.


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