No place on earth offers the potential for creation and production like India at present, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a gathering of German and Indian businessmen at an event hosted by Nasscom for the PM and German chancellor Angela Merkel here on Tuesday.
“Such a huge potential for creation and production will not be available at any one place. No other place on earth can offer the potential that is on offer on such a massive scale in India. We are trying to power this potential,” Modi told the Indo-German “Digitizing Tomorrow Together” summit.
Modi said that his government since coming to power 15 months ago had focused aggressively on creating a climate conducive for foreign investment in the country.
“With a very open and global mindset we have worked aggressively to make India an easy place to do business. We are committed to creating favorable conditions for business and industry because we believe that they are necessary for improving the lives of ordinary citizens,” the PM said.
“Our commitment and aggressive nature in achieving our goals in a faster manner creates immense opportunities for German companies. Never before was India so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investments from outside. It makes sense to be in India and it makes stronger business sense to Make in India,” Modi told the Nasscom summit.
“As of now our economic partnership remains below our full potential. We are particularly keen to develop the sectors where Germany is strong,” he said. A number of regulatory and taxation issues that were adversely impacting foreign investments had been addressed to remove concerns, he said.
“We have clearly articulated that we will not resort to retrospective taxation and reinforce this position by not going for imposition of the Minimum Alternative Tax,” the PM asserted.
Employment for youth is the biggest challenge before the country and the manufacturing sector would have to grow from the present 16 percent of GDP mark to around 25 per cent in the short and medium term to facilitate large scale job creation, PM Modi said. German Chancellor Merkel said that initiation of more market reforms would go a long way in encouraging German businesses to put more investments in India.
“More reforms will give more impetus to German industries to invest in India. German companies want to be treated on par with Indian companies and creation of an equitable market is crucial for investments,” she said.
The German chancellor said that greater Indo German collaboration in information technology and manufacturing are key to the opening of “more doors for success in the digitization age”. “German engineering and Indian IT must fuse and complement each other,” she said.
“IT companies in Bangalore are a reliable engine of development for India,” she said.
According to Chancellor Merkel German companies see the biggest business prospects in India coming from sectors like infrastructure, railways and mobility services.
“India needs jobs, Germany needs people and collaboration is crucial to meet the demographic needs of both countries,” she said. Merkel said there is a need to resume EU India free trade agreement talks soon since this is important for Indo German partnership. The , FTA will allow Indian companies to do more business in Germany and vice versa, she said.
“There are 1600 German companies active in India and some of them are more than 100 years old. Our companies value India as a location for manufacturing and as a market,” Merkel said.
India and Germany understand each other and share values and will work in the United Nations for peace and sustainability but the UN needs to reflect the global situation better, she said.
Top Indian business leaders like Azim Premji, Kumaramangalam Birla, Chanda Kocchar, A M Naik were among those in attendance at the business summit.