Merkel, Modi in Bengaluru; Focus on ‘Make in India’

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with  German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on October 5, 2015. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on October 5, 2015.
Photo – PTI

On day two of her visit in India, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Bengaluru along with PM Modi.

The two leaders attended the Indo-German Business Summit where PM Modi reiterated that India was a bright spot for investment at a time of global slowdown.

“Never before is India so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investment from outside… Such a huge potential for creation and production will not be available in any one country ” said PM Modi while talking about the process of creating favourable conditions in India for doing business. He also said that the government had fast-tracked approvals and clearances for industry as well as the infrastructure sector.

The summit was attended by all big players in the IT sector in India.

On Indo-German business ties, Modi said they remain below the full economic potential and India wants to develop relationship with Germany in various sectors.

“It is the software of India that will move the hardware of the world,” Modi announced.

Five B2B (business-to-business) agreements were exchanged in the presence of Modi and Merkel at the event.

According to Merkel, India needed high skilled jobs, Germany was in need of high skilled labour.

German engineering and India’s IT expertise are fused here in Bengaluru, said Merkel at the summit.

The Prime Minister hosted a special lunch for Merkel with leading Indian CEOs at the summit, organised by NASSCOM in collaboration with the German Fraunhofer Institute.

Earlier in the day, the two leaders visited the Bengaluru plant of German automotive major Bosch for a first-hand view of the 50-billion euro company. Here, the leaders interacted with its executives on innovation and research to help the government promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’.

To further strengthen its presence in India, Bosch said it plans to invest Rs 650 crores (over 100 million euros) this year.

“India is a key location in our global innovation network. To further strengthen our presence in the country, we plan to invest INR 650 crores (over 100 million euros) in 2015,” said Peter Tyroller, the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for Asia-Pacific.

“Readying the ground force for ‘Make in India’,” Vikas Swarup, Spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted as the two leaders went through the facility, where they were gifted the “lion”, the logo of the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

“Preparing the next generation of technicians. Making the vision of Skill India a reality,” Swarup said in a series of tweets. The two leaders were briefed on on “Industrie 4.0 to Big Data” on solutions developed at Bosch India.

“Our commitment to developing talent and the competence of our local engineers are part of our success story in India,” Tyroller added.

On Monday, Merkel held a bilateral meeting with PM Modi and the talks discussed stepping up cooperation between the two countries, with special focus on trade and investment. The two leaders had wide ranging talks that included defence manufacturing, trade, intelligence and clean energy. Both countries signed 18 MoUs for cooperation in various fields which also include higher education, civil aviation, railways and food safety. Germany agreed to pledge a package of over 1 billion euros for solar projects in India.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in European Union and the seventh largest foreign investor in India. The overall exchange of goods and services between the two countries was valued at 15.96 billion in 2014. In 2013, the figure stood at 16.10 billion euros. There are more than 1,600 Indo-German collaborations and around 600 Indo-German joint ventures currently in operation.

India and Germany are strategic partners since 2001 and Merkerl’s visit comes about 6 months after Modi’s tour of Germany.