Calcutta, Feb. 13: German consul-general in Calcutta Rainer Schmiedchen today said Bengal should highlight its strengths and successes to have an edge over other states in attracting investments and offset the image loss suffered from the exit of the Tatas’ Nano project.
“Business is developing. While other parts of India may be considered more attractive, German businessmen may not know anything about Calcutta and Bengal. The Tata case is known all over the German business community. The advantages of the state need to be showcased to neutralise that one bad example,” Schmiedchen said here today.
On the need to change the land policy of the state, Schmiedchen said, “I do not think the land policy has to be revised. No German investment in the state has been hurt by the land question. In fact, a German company, BASF, was given land during Bengal Leads at Haldia. Land is difficult to find in Bengal for industrial purposes compared with Gujarat. Land elsewhere may not be as valuable as it is here.”
He said Bengal would highlight its strength in tourism at the largest international tourism fair scheduled to be held in Berlin in March. A delegation led by state finance minister Amit Mitra will attend the fair.
Several German companies such as Siemens, Metro Cash & Carry, Gontermann Peiper and Otto India have been associated with Bengal.
Nationally, in the last three years, German auto giants such as BMW, Daimler, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and MAN AG have established manufacturing facilities and assembly units in the country.
India has initiated about 40 projects in Germany in the last 10 years, 20 of which are in the software and IT sectors.
Bilateral trade has increased to $24.21 billion in 2011 from about $15 billion in 2007.
Germany has been the eighth largest investor in India with cumulative FDI inflows of $5.05 billion.