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India and Bavaria to Intensify Cooperation
by Martin Zeil,Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria

The State of Bavaria proudly co-hosted the inaugural Global India Business Meeting in Munich, from June 28th until June 30th 2009. Inspired by the theme ‘Overcoming the Crisis - Opportunities for India’, representatives from Germany, India and the world, both from politics and the business community, gathered in the Bavarian capital city to reflect on the chances that the current global crisis could bring about – for India and for its partners worldwide: For it was the core conclusion to be drawn of this internationally wellattended conference to give privilege to multifaceted and global cooperation over economic and political ‘go-alonestrategies’.

‘We shall give privilege to multifaceted and global cooperation over economic and political go-alone-strategies’ 
Martin Zeil,Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria, Germany

The Bavarian-Indian relations best exemplify this tendency towards closer economic integration since our bilateral trade and investment flows have seen a substantial rise in recent years. Our bilateral trade volume accounted for 2 billion €in 2008 and rose by more than 20% compared to the year before. India is currently ranking no. 4 in Bavaria’s list of its most important trading partners in Asia.

As for its impressive economic rise, which is comparable to that of Brazil and China, India is indeed one of the new and future engines of the world economy.What has become clear both from the speeches during the opening receptions on the first night of the conference and also in the sessions that were hosted by the Bavarian Business Association on the second day, was the consensus that India is expecting a dynamic period of growth – even though its growth figures lagged markedly behind what had been forecast before the worldwide crisis had destabilized our economies.

Although India is far from the epicentre of the global financial and economic crises, the downturn in advanced economies is slowly spreading to the major emerging markets with India being one of them.

Welcome dinner at the Bavarian Royal Residence

But along the lines of the theme of the conference, it was confidence that prevailed over partly controversial and lively discussions and panels.The participants shared the common conviction that any country’s growth in a globalized world is dependent on strong and well-performing partners: whether it be purchasing and export markets or co-operation partners in research, development and also production. Opinions diverged as to whether we would see a setback in the liberalisation of markets and as to the future role of government. Similarly divergent were opinions on whether the large number of young people was a curse or a blessing with regard to their needs for training and the apparent inaptitude of Indian government to provide it.

Bavaria, the host country of this event, is located right in the heart of Europe and opens up unique market opportunities for international companies: Bavaria is the turnstile in the East-West and North-South trade routes and can be reached easily from all the economic centres in Europe.An excellently developed infrastructure in the fields of transport, telecommunications and energy guarantees optimal supply facilities and links with international markets.
In its location at the geographical centre of Europe, Bavaria not only offers access to the German-speaking market, the biggest market in the EU, but also opens the doors to the markets in Central and Eastern Europe.The Bavarian market itself is one of the strongest in the world in terms of purchasing power.

With over 1,400 foreign high-tech companies located in Bavaria, international business has become an integral part of the Bavarian economy.These companies have chosen Bavaria because of its excellent business environment, good infrastructure and a healthy mix of high-tech companies and traditional industries. Bavaria boasts a tightly knit network of small- and medium sized industrial, crafts and service enterprises. Every investor encounters a wide spectrum of competitive suppliers, purchasers and co-operation partners in the region.More than 1,200 foreign high-tech companies from some 30 countries with establishments in Bavaria appreciate these factors.

Bavaria is the key investment destination for industries like life sciences, automotive, electrical and mechanical engineering, biotechnology, medical technology, environmental technology and aerospace.

Today, Bavaria is a centre of the German aviation and space travel industry and computer industry.Thanks to Audi and BMW, it is a strong centre of the automotive industry, - and the headquarter of numerous companies of worldwide repute in the field of automation and machine construction, electrical and mechanical engineering, bio-technology, medical technology and environmental technology. Other high profile global companies are Siemens, EADS,Adidas, Puma and MAN, just to name a few.

For investors seeking advice, there is 'Invest in Bavaria', a specialist team within the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Transport, Infrastructure, andTechnology, which is responsible for recruitment of investors and location marketing.

Anand Sharma in discussion with Martin Zeil,Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria His Highness Sheikh Salman Al Kalifa, Bahrain,with Maria Cattaui,Member of the Board, Petroplus Holding, and Prakash Hinduja, Chairman,Hinduja Group

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