SME Times News Bureau | 09 Jun, 2021
Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic
Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, on Tuesday asserted that Mittelstand companies must focus
on India as a land of opportunity and take advantage of India's growing
Addressing the '1st Indo-German Mittelstand Business
Summit', organized by FICCI, jointly with BVMW, Chhabra said, "India is really the opportunity that Mittelstand need to explore, grab and
collaborate with. We are looking at four key areas where both countries could
collaborate in the Mittelstand which include AI & Digitalization,
Environment & Sustainability, Supply chain resilience, and Healthcare
He further stated that with the negotiations in trade and investment
agreement restarted in the EU, we would see these concluding soon. We will see
more companies benefiting from this. "They need to look at India more of an
opportunity, rather than a challenge" added Chhabra.
In order to further strengthen the strategic relationship of both
countries, Chhabra stated that a few big-ticket investment projects
in the areas of HSR (high speed railway) and defence will boost the
He said that the government has already announced various policy
initiatives like the Production Linked Incentive Scheme, Start-up India and
Digital India which act as the building blocks which are already in place.
German companies, we already have a fast-track approval system at DPIIT. The
Embassy in Berlin is also promoting 'Make in India Mittelstand' under which
over 135 companies benefited with over a billion $ investments coming in since
2015," added Chhabra.
He also urged the companies to explore investment opportunities in the
S&T sector. "There is an Indo-German S&T Centre which is already there.
We can easily leap-frog using these building blocks," Chhabra noted.
Jurgen Morhard, Consul General
of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai said that Indo-Pacific is the new
mindset and India has played an eminent role in this. The EU and Germany are
committed to play even stronger role in Asia.
"Many small Mittelstand companies
from Germany are determined to make India their global hub for manufacturing
and R&D. We have a much stronger civil society bond as well between the two
countries which is helping the industries. No foreign market is easy and
challenging but India has a lot of opportunities," he added.
Dirk Wiese, Member
German Bundestag & Chairman, German-Indian Parliamentary Friendship
said that both countries have a lot of potential in the areas of
energy and infrastructure.
"We have a large number of SMEs which are the
backbone of German industry, and we want to bring German SMEs to India
under 'Make in India Mittelstand' to help strengthen the trade
relations," he added.
Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that German companies boast of a track record of
being long-standing and dependable investors in India. "Indian investments in
Germany are also sizable and have grown significantly in recent years. Within
the European Union, Germany currently receives the highest percentage of
India's total annual FDI outflows," he added.
Markus Jerger, Executive Director, BVMW said that around 80 percent of all apprenticeships in
Germany are conducted under the German Mittelstand. "Together with FICCI, we
are facilitating Indo-German cooperation and facilitating business for SMEs," he added.