The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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PM parades business potential

Munich, May 29: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made an impassioned plea to the representatives of German business associations to recognise the vast range of possibilities for economic, scientific and technological cooperation with India.

Perhaps taking note of falling German investment, Vajpayee asked this country’s companies to take a second look at India. He urged them to benefit from India’s strengths in information technology, explore India as a market for biotechnology products and marry Indian R&D in biotech with German technology; help India build capacity in renewable energy and source cutting-edge technology R&D from Indian institutions. “There seems to be an information gap about the immense opportunities in both directions for trade and investment,” Vajpayee told German business bosses.

He tried to bridge the gap by telling them, for example, that India had launched two German satellites in the last four years. He suggested that they use Indian satellites for remote sensing needs, communications and research projects.

Similarly, Vajpayee said, Germany could use India’s nuclear expertise for decommissioning its nuclear power plants — it is slated to dismantle 20,000 mw of nuclear power capacity by 2020.

He urged German business leaders to take a look at India’s infrastructure projects such as the linking of all its major rivers to optimise the use of water and river transportation and the development of railways and ports.

As a world leader in transportation engineering, Germany, Vajpayee said, “was well placed to take advantage of these opportunities”. He also invited the attention of German businessmen to the upgradation of India’s road network. To give them an idea of the magnitude of the task he said: “Imagine reconditioning and building afresh over 13,000 km of highways from Helsinki to Istanbul and from Gibraltar to Moscow.”

He asked Germany to recognise the strengths of India and reap attractive returns by making investments. “A fuller understanding of the mutual advantage of collaboration can play a crucial role in transforming our relations into a vibrant partnership,” the Prime Minister said.

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