Modi, Merkel back fusion of German engineering and Indian IT

It’s a potent blend that makes Germany a natural partner in India’s transformation. Melding India’s IT prowess and the power of German engineering, as epitomised in Bengaluru, in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s words, the two countries have charted an ambitious template for expanding their economic partnership at a meeting of top business honchos in Bengaluru.  

“German engineering and India’s IT expertise are fused here in Bengaluru,” said Chancellor Merkel as she, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed the Indo-German business summit after the visit to Bosch vocational centre in Bengaluru on October 6. The two leaders also witnessed the exchange of five B2B (Business to Business) agreements.

Prime Minister Modi showcased the increased ease of doing business in India and the country’s emergence as a preferred destination for FDI. “At a time of global slowdown, India represents a bright spot for investments. We are fortunate to be sailing in the right direction,” he said.

Addressing the summit Mr Modi said, “India is now at 9th place on UNCTAD’s ranking of investment attractiveness and jumped 16 places on WEF’s global competitiveness index.” Underlining the change in investor sentiment towards India, Mr Modi emphasised on credit rating agencies like Moody’s giving an upgrade to India.

“We are on the path of making India a global manufacturing hub”, Mr Modi said. Reassuring investors Mr Modi stressed on India’s commitment to protecting Intellectual Property Rights and rights of all innovators and entrepreneurs. In this context, Mr Modi spoke about the Goods and Services tax (GST) and expressed hope that it will be rolled out by 2016. He also spoke about easing regulatory clearances, including environment and security clearances, along with increasing the validity period of industrial licences.

Fast track clearances for industry and infrastructure struck the right chord with investors at a conclave. The FDI inflows into India has increased by 40 percent this year.

“It is the software of India that will move the hardware of the world,” he said, while pitching for increased German investments into India. India is on the threshold of a big IT revolution; where technology will be leveraged to meet aspirations of 1.25 billion citizens, added Mr Modi.

The 18 agreements signed between the two countries on October 5 encompassed diverse areas, and brought out the pivotal role of Germany in India’s ongoing transformation. “We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India’s economic transformation. German strengths and India’s priorities are aligned,” Mr Modi had said.

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