India is seeking to double German investment: Ex-envoy

German investment in India is about 9.5 billion euros, made during 2000-2016.

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India seeks to double the investment from Germany over the coming five years from the present 9.5 billion euros and it also wants a rise of two-fold in the number of German firms in the country, said a former India’s Ambassador to Germany on Tuesday. 

In the last few years, India has attracted around 74 German firms that have business ideas worth $1 billion of investment, Gurjit Singh told PTI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to Germany and held discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and also signed eight pacts.

According to the latest news, Merkel was happy to, "develop cooperation with India. That's of huge importance and in no way directed against any other relationships and certainly not against the trans-Atlantic ties, which have historically been very important for us and will remain so in future." 

There are lots of opportunities in India for German companies in the areas of infrastructure, smart cities, railways, defence, renewable energy, ports and shipping, and inland waterways, according to Singh who was retired in March 2017 after 37 years of Foreign Service with his last posting being in Germany. 

“German investments in India is about 9.5 billion euros, made during 2000-2016, which can be doubled to 18 billion euros may be over the next five years. We (also) want to double the number of German companies in India to 3,600 from 1,800,” said Singh.

The ex-envoy further said that German companies were being prodded to create consortiums with European as well as non-European firms for undertaking mega projects in India, specifically their participation in the development of Smart Cities that would require unique disciplines, technologies and expertise.

Singh pointed out that small and medium size enterprises of Germany are known for their good technologies and therefore they should lead in creating such consortiums. 

Joint ventures between Indian and German companies can also lead in creating consortiums to undertake mega projects in India, he said.

According to Singh, the European investments into India should be increased two-fold to nearly 1.5% from the present nominal level of 0.7% of the global investments.

He said Prime Minister Modi’s ongoing Germany visit is well-timed and would give a boost to bilateral ties between the two nations.

 
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