6 Oct : Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has said that reaching the trade target of Euro 20 billion by 2012 appears well within our sight, and the strength of the relationship is evident from the healthy growth in bilateral trade.
During the interaction with Mr. Christian Wulff, Minister-President of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany), here today, Shri Kamal Nath informed that the State of Lower Saxony could be an important trading partner of India in sectors like agriculture, mining, crude oil, manufacturing, aviation, shipbuilding, biotechnology, steel, tourism industry and telecommunication. During discussion both sides agreed to enhance bilateral relations between the State of Lower Saxony and India.
Shri Kamal Nath stated that India’s priority is to carry forward its reform process so as to accelerate growth in an inclusive manner. Bilateral trade between India and Germany is showing a consistent growth. During the year 2007-08, bilateral trade was of US $ 14.7 billion as against US $ 11.5 billion during 2006-07. India’s major exports to Germany are: readymade garments, machinery & instruments, electronic goods, transport equipments while India’s major imports from Germany are: machinery (except electrical & electronics), iron & steel, machine tools, organic chemicals etc.
As regards WTO negotiations, Shri Kamal Nath said that: “We remain committed to a rule-based multilateral trading system. It is important that the development dimension of trade talks remains at the centre. For India and other developing countries, putting the livelihood of hundreds of farmers at risk would be unacceptable. There is a need for greater understanding from the developed countries.”
Shri Kamal Nath, during the meeting, emphasised that the State of Lower Saxony should take advantage of India’s investor-friendly climate and German companies should show greater engagement with India, especially in the sectors of infrastructure, information technology, bio-technology, automobile industry etc. In the comparative list of countries for FDI approvals, Germany ranks 5th. FDI approvals for Germany during the period 1999 to March 2008 was of the order of US $ 2.90 billion and the actual inflow was of the order of US $ 2.20 billion.