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Modi encourages German investment in India

April 14, 2015

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on German businesses to manufacture their products in his country. Modi, in Germany to promote his "Make in India" campaign, meets with Chancellor Merkel on Tuesday.

Image: Reuters/W. Rattay

Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged German industry leaders to set aside their concerns over investing in India on Monday, hoping to help reaffirm ties between the two powerhouse economies and shed his nation's image as a complicated place to do business.

"The credibility of our economy has been restored," Modi wrote in an article for Germany's prestigious daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The prime minister toured the world's largest industrial trade fair with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hanover on Monday, ahead of his official reception by the German leader in Berlin on Tuesday.

After being greeted with full military honors and a meeting with Merkel in her office, Modi is set to meet with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also vice chancellor, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Modi pushes manufacturing

Modi is in Europe promoting his "Make in India" campaign. Launched last September, the program aims to promote India as a prime location for manufacturing. Germany is India's largest trading partner in Europe, with total bilateral trade between the two countries valued at 16.08 billion euros (17 billion dollars) in 2013.

After visiting the Hanover trade fair together, Modi and Merkel issued a joint statement: "In this Hanover fair, we saw our strengths and possibilities of ties between India and Germany…Indian companies will get a chance to see Germany's work culture and discipline. German companies will get to know the same about Indian companies."

While touring the exhibits, both leaders were particularly impressed by a display of robotic arms. Organizers of the fair, whose motto this year is "Integrated Industry - Join the Network," said the display was to symbolize how man and machine will work together in the future.

"We need to create technologies that are affordable and bring something also for ordinary people," said Modi after viewing an exhibit on robots assisting humans in the production process.

Following his European stops in France and then Germany, Modi's world tour will finish this week in Canada with hopes to finally move forward with a long-stalled foreign investment protection pact.

es/cmk (AFP, dpa, Reuters)