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The inaugural Horasis Global India Business Meeting convened in Munich on 28-30 June 2009.The meeting was held at a critical time, coming less then a month after the formation of the new Indian government.

Held under the theme ‘Overcoming the Crisis – Opportunities for India’ and with more than 250 business and governmental leaders taking part in the event, the Global India Business Meeting provided the platform for India, Europe and the rest of the world to discuss the implications of the global economic crisis for India and to shape the post-crisis environment.Also, the meeting was conceived to reflect on the increased emphasis of Indian firms to build global and sustainable brands – and thus contributing to the healing of the world economy.This report distils the outcomes and observations that emerged from the meeting.

In a turbulent region at a time of multiple crises confronting the world, India has emerged after the 2009 election prepared to face both challenges and opportunities awaiting the country.The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Congress Party, has retained power.As one of the participants, Rahul Bajaj,Member of Parliament and Chairman, Bajaj Auto, India, put it:‘The strength of India’s voice in the international community has proven that the reforms that have been implemented made the country better able to weather the global crisis.’

Nasser Munjee, Chairman, Development Credit Bank, India, added that ‘India is expected to emerge from the current global crisis before the average of the world economy.’
Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad, Chairman, Saudi Paper Manufacturing Co, Saudi Arabia, declared that ‘when markets dried up, India was quick to refocus its trade and marketing efforts in targeting regions not severely affected by the economic downturn such as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf economies. Saudi Arabia and India are partners of natural choice.’

Participants reached consensus that

‘India is expected to emerge from the current global crisis before the average of the world economy’’ 
Nasser Munjee, Chairman,Development Credit Bank, India
  • Global and domestic challenges are testing the resilience of the Indian economy. Still, the economy will grow by approximately 6-8% in 2009 and 2010
  • Investments in infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare and education will be the key drivers to ensure long-term and inclusive growth
  • India will tap the synergies with its neighbouring countries and play a more pronounced role in global trade and investment

The new confidence was on full display at the opening dinner when the Indian Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma spoke candidly about the impact of the downturn.‘The crisis is real and serious,’ the Minister said.‘In the present global economic meltdown, an emerging power like India must readjust with the new realities.The challenges require continuity, as well as correction.When the crisis is over, investment will be made in those economies where there is deeper trust. By and large our economy is stable and strong. We in India have perhaps done better than others in this crisis.’

Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, on how to connect India with the world

Minister Sharma also pointed out how far we have come with globalization where India in the meanwhile is investing more in Germany than Germany in India with more than 100 of India’s leading companies being present in Germany.At the same time he emphasized the challenge of his country to produce inclusive growth where the 7 % GDP increment would benefit also the majority of people in his country who are still living at the poverty line.Minister Sharma made it a point to transcend this necessity to all countries in the world that are facing similar fundamentals as India.

Minister Sharma announced that India will intensify its global economic engagement. He sent the message that theWTO talks need to be reenergised.‘India won’t be stumbling block’, he added.‘India is determined to complete the Doha trade deal.’ At the same dinner session,Martin Zeil, Deputy Minister President of Bavaria, reviewed Germany’s and Bavaria’s economic relations with India.

‘Germany is India's largest trading partner in the European Union and India will continue to be one of the most important investment locations and trading partners for the German economy,’ he said.‘ I see signs of potential economic growth next year as Germany will benefit from the continued economic growth generated by fast expanding economies like India. India is a driver of global commerce.’

Arrival of Participants

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