German companies do not want to miss India bus

Despite problems of a dismal infrastructure and a lethargic bureaucracy, India still exudes a lot of appeal to German industry which is guided by the imperative of not putting all its eggs in the China basket.

India's huge market, with a prosperous middle class of cash-rich 350 to 400 million, is a major attraction for German companies which, according to the Frankfurt-based Association of German Machinery and Industrial Plants, do not want to "miss the bus".

China, many German experts point out, is still ruled by a communist regime which does not allow the free flow of information and transparency which are indispensable to conducting business. The latest case of Google threatening to pull out of China illustrates the problem.

India's two-way trade with Germany may appear tiny compared to China's huge trade volume, but the Hamburg- based Asia Pacific Business Council points out that there is still a lot  of potential to be tapped in India-Germany trade.
"Let's not forget that we achieved the goal of doubling our trade from five billion euro to 10 billion euro in 2008, three years ahead of our deadline year. Our bilateral trade amounted to 13.4 billion euro in 2008. Trade will surge further in the years ahead," says Ajit Kumar, the Indian consul general here.
Citing India's "growing weight in the international arena", Kumar said the president's visit underscores the significance Germany attaches to India as a partner in not only a bilateral but also multilateral context.

Bilateral interaction between India and Germany is poised to intensify in the near future, with visits by several high-powered business and political delegations planned in both countries.

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