India, Germany agree to expand economic ties

4th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2005, NEW DELHI - India and Germany agreed to expand trade and economic ties during a visit to New Delhi on Monday by German Economics and Labour Minister Wolfgang Clement.

4 April 2005

NEW DELHI - India and Germany agreed to expand trade and economic ties during a visit to New Delhi on Monday by German Economics and Labour Minister Wolfgang Clement.

Clement, who led a delegation of 100 CEOs, opened the 15th session of the Indo-German Joint Commission on Economic and Industrial Cooperation, and held talks with Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Last year, bilateral trade between India and Germany was valued at EUR 6.22 billion, the growth attributed to a 34.7 percent increase of German exports to India and an 11.3 percent rise in German imports from India.

"Some Indian exports to Germany have faced EU anti-dumping and other punitive actions. The rise of protectionism in any form is a source of great worry to India," Chidambaram said.

Clement admitted the current level of trade and investment between the two countries "is far from fulfilling the potential", and that new areas for cooperation included information and communications technology, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, environmental protection and biotechnology.

Indian minister Chidambaram described the sharp decline in German investment in India as "disappointing", with investments averaging USD 125 million (EUR 97 million) annually in the last decade.

"Infrastructure sectors in India can absorb foreign direct investment up to USD 150 billion (EUR 117 billion)," he said, citing sectors such as roads, ports, airports, power, housing and telecommunications.

"India is harvesting the fruits of the policy of liberalisation it began in 1991. In 2004, you were actually a world leader with economic growth of 6.9 percent," Clement said. "At the moment, we in Germany can only dream of that."

The German minister said India was made more attractive to foreign investment by liberalising sectors such as banking and civil aviation.

"It (German business) wants to play its part as India upgrades its infrastructure in many areas and develops fresh fields of cooperation, thus becoming even more integrated into the world economy," Clement said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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