India holds promise for German companies, says envoy

January 4th, 2012 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 4 (IANS) Companies in Germany are looking to ramp up their presence in India with investment and two-way trade would reach the 20 billion euros (Rs.1,376 billion) target this year, according to Cord Meier-Klodt, acting ambassador of the West European country.

“There is a general feeling amongst German industries that the potential in India is much bigger,” Meier-Klodt told IANS here Wednesday.

Companies in the areas of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machine building, auto component and renewable energy are keen on ventures in India, the world’s second fastest-growing major economy.

Many global companies are struggling to emerge from an economic slowdown with the demand for products are falling in the traditional US and European markets.

“Eighty percent of the German economy is contributed by the small and medium enterprises. Medium sized auto component makers are showing interest in investing in India as German automotive companies like Audi are showing good increase in sales in this country,” said Meier-Klodt.

German auto companies like Daimler, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen have set up operations in India and logging good sales volumes.

Daimler has also invested in a truck plant near here.

On trade between Germany and India, Meier-Klodt said: “Going by the trade trends, we are confident that the trade would touch the target figure this year.”

Germany is India’s largest trade partner in the European Union (EU).

Asked about the free trade agreement (FTA) between EU and India, he said: “It is in a crucial stage. The contours of the FTA will be known next month during the EU Summit.”

He also said the inter-governmental consultations that began last year between Germany and India was progressing well and there had been follow-up action in the fields such as education, vocational training and environment.

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