Germany would play a pivotal role in India's growth: Nath
Mumbai, Aug 31: Enhanced economic particpation of a young India, consisting of 'Savers and Spenders' with world class German expertise and technology will further augment the economic integration of Indo-German partnership into an enduring foundation, said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath.
He was adressing members of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) commemorating the 'Golden Jubilee' of the Chamber at a glittering ceremony here last evening.
The Minister pointed to the gradual shift of econmic activity terming it the 'Centre of gravity' from the powerful Atlantic ocean to the waters of Indian ocean in the last two decades. Adding that 50 years of partnership in the life of a nation and its people is a turning point of crucial significance.
Appreciating the presence of a large German delegation on the occasion, he said a new momentum and tone will be set to strengthen the economic engagement between both countries. As IGCC is witness to India's great economic transformation and growth as a lucrative market after liberlisation.
Seizing the oppurtunity, the Union Minister stressed the need for a German trade centre to be opened in India, similar to the one opened in China as it will synergize the existing economic activites between both the countries.
Nath stated that India is looking for economic cooperation from all parts of the world. However, Germany would play a pivotal role in India's engagement with Europe and rest of the world.
He drew attention to the fact that India subscribes to multilateral rules on trading and wants free trade with fair trade. India would stress for changes in existing flaws in multinational trading through World Trade Organisation.
Bilateral trade between India and Germany is set to cross new frontiers with a rise of 34 per cent in 2005-06 (April-March) over 2004-05. Imports from Germany increased 42.8 per cent and exports to Germany registered a growth of 22.6 per cent in 2005-06 over the same period last year.
Among the top supplier countries for India, Germany with 45 per cent has showed the second highest growth in 2005-06.
Last year Germany was the fourth important supplier to India as a destination country for Indian exports.
In 2005-06 (April-March), Germany made diverse investment in Indian industries, in chemicals it was Rs 103.14 crore, in mechanical and engineering it was Rs 9.41 crore and and in the transportation sector it was Rs 7.15 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Michael Glos, Minister of Economics and Technology, Federal Republic of Germany said that IGCC is a success story and India is one of the most important trading partners for Germany. He asserted that Germany has the world's leading modern industrial technology and with the German economy going fine, it meant the Eurpean economy is fine.
Replying to his Indian counterpart, Glos said a German trade centre in India is a sure possibility in the future, but declined from giving a time frame for it. He further added that Germany shares India's views on free and fair trade and would advocate the same at the forthcoming World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Doha summit.
He added that India rose to become a responsible nuclear power and today is a large self confident country. With a powerful Information and Technology industry, the IGCC partnership has become a two-way business for both countries.
With respect to state-wise investments, German Foreign Direct Investment(FDI)in Tamil Nadu was the maximum to the tune of Rs 10.08 crore for 2005-06 as against to 2.9 crore in 2004-05, while Maharashtra received the second largest investment to the tune of Rs 7.60 crore.
Overall FDI flow from Germany for the year 2005-06 stood at Rs 135.45 crore recording a phenomenal growth of 103 per cent as compared to April to March 2004-05.
The remarkable interest shown by Germany in the Indian markets has been such that it has toppled Singapore, UK and Japan to grab the number two position with respect to FDI inflows, following the US, during 2005-06.
Dr Albert Hieronimus, president of IGCC said that IGCC has grown as a body from 500 members to 6,500 members from the time of its inception to its 50th year reflecting the growing economic partnership between both countries.
He said at present IGCC has its training centres in Mumbai and Chennai, which would be soon expanded to New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkatta. IGCC belives in investing in the youth of the country as it is the best possible investment.
He assured that trade would be doubled to 10 million euros by the year end from the present five million euros. If the current trend countines.
On the occasion, IGCC screened the ceremony of India posthumously conferring the 'Padma Bhushan', its highest civilian award on Dr Guenter Krueger. Subsequently, the Indian High Commission in Germany on behalf of the President of India, presented the award to the late Dr Kruger's wife.
The late Dr Krueger, was Director General of IGCC and breathed his last in Mumbai. He spent 35 years of his valuable service in cementing the IGCC as a strong chamber of economic partnership between India and Germany.
Indian Commerce Minister presented the 'IGCC Champions Award' to Bajaj Allianz India, Motor Industries Company (MICO), DHL India, Siemens India, BASF India and Lufthansa India.
'IGCC Awards 2006' was presented by the German Economics and Technology Minister to Deutsche Bank AG, Tata Consultancy Services, D C Mills and Wendt (India).
IGCC announced that the 'Dr Guenter Kruger Award for Excellence', will be given to the best graduate and postgraduate trainees from Germany and India. Similarly, it also released the 'IGCC Golden Jubilee Coin' to commemorate its 50th year.