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Specials Strengthening Indo-German relations

Dec 1, 2015

With a participation of around 140 members, The 4th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit was recently held at New Delhi. The summit witnessed co-operation from German companies towards ‘Make in India’ campaign, and bestowed their support towards India’s future growth. A post-event report…

With the recent visit of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, both Germany and India have stepped up their bilateral cooperation and agreed upon 18 MOU’s. Today, the world is looking at India as the final destination for investments and growth and Hon’ble Prime Minister has set clear goals and reforms to help achieve them. The objective of these engagements are to support and augment the ‘Make in India’ programme through increasing the innovation and technology prowess of the Indian industry.


The summit started with a welcome note from Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA India, where he mentioned that the Prime Ministers clarion call to ‘Make in India’ holds enormous promise to transform the Indian economy. “Complemented by initiatives such as “Skill India”, Digital India, Schwach Bharat and Sagar Mala, a foundation is being laid for a multiplier impact on inclusive development. This has emphasised on the 4 Ds - demographic dividend, democracy, demand and the recently added 4th D - deregulation. This effort shows to be bearing fruit as India saw the highest foreign direct investment inflow for new projects among all nations in the first half of 2015, beating America and China.” He further adds that in January-June 2015, India attracted $31 billion (` 2.05 lakh crore) in capital expenditure (capex) from foreign companies, China, the largest economy in Asia, attracted $28 bn and the US got $27 bn in the period.

Dr Corinna Fricke, Head Economic Section, Federal Republic of Germany in New Delhi reiterated the strengthening bonds between India and Germany and the increased bilateral trade between the 2 countries which crossed 17 Billion Euros in 2012. Dr. “There is immense potential for growth in the country but feels that it has been at a growing slowly but steadily specially in the last few months,” she said.

This was followed by an address by Dr Rajan Katoch, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, GOI. He enlightened the audience on “Manufacturing in India – Road to Progress”, where he explained the slew of measures taken by his department as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme to increase country’s share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% by 2020 from present 15%.”

Showcasing Indian relations

Ulrich Ackermann, Managing Director, Foreign Trade Division within VDMA Frankfurt shared insights of the German engineering industry, which attained a turnover in 2014 of 212 bn Euro, out of which the export share stood at 77% with Asia contributing to 27% of this export share. “India is the 5th most important country for German Machinery exports, while the top three include USA followed by Italy and Mexico. While India on the other hand, imported machinery from China followed by Germany and Japan,” he said.

The keynote address on “Overview of the Indian Economy” was presented by Arun Maira, Former Member, Planning Commission. This was followed by a presentation on “Goods and Services Tax- Impact on Manufacturing Industry” by Sandeep Gupta, Partner, ASA & Associates LLP, spoke on “Goods and Services Tax- Impact on Manufacturing Industry”, where he presented various tax models implemented in developed countries and reiterated that Dual GST is to replace different indirect taxes on goods and services by the central & state governments.

Next, Ajay Shankar, Chairman & Expert Committee, Regulatory Approval, organised a session on “Ease of doing business – approach from Indian government”, where he touched upon various issues like creating regulatory layovers, implementation of GST, Digital India and third party certification issues.

The second leg of the technical session began with “Prospects for Indo-German collaboration in high technology manufacturing” by Hermann Muehleck, Head—German Business Centre, India, Ernst & Young GmbH. The objective of the study was to identify high-technology sectors that are most suitable for Indo-German collaboration.

The session continued with “Application of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing” presented by Volker Schmid, Head—Asia Pacific, Festo Didactic SE. The concept was to inform & prepare for manufacturing of tomorrow, which is presently led by primarily Europe and other developed countries. “Gaining importance in high-tech manufacturing, process automation and end-to-end digitisation of business will become a key driver for enhancing production and cost efficiencies. The Indian IT sector holds strong know-how on software development and on digitisation of business processes from which collaboration partners can benefit,” he explained.

The technical session ended with the insights on “Make in India Mittelstand” by Satish Sharma, Deputy Secretary (EW), Ministry of External Affairs. It is a first of its kind business support programme designed to offer services in coordination with the Indian Government and other entities. It starts with the company selection and on-boarding; in the second stage market entry support will be facilitated. Also, a panel discussion was held on “Make in India—a slogan or reality” moderated by Nath. The panelists highlighted the German dual system of education, which provides theoretical & practical knowledge to students. The students here are given an opportunity to not just learn, but also work in the industry, thereby, creating technically skilled workforce from the onset.

Image Gallery

  • Rajesh Nath, MD,VDMA India; Arun Maira, Former Member, Planning Commission; Dr Rajan Katoch, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, GOI; Dr Corinna Fricke, Head Economic Section, Federal Republic of Germany in New Delhi; Ulrich Ackermann, MD, Foreign Trade Division within VDMA Frankfurt during the summit

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