German businesses see India as a stable place to invest: says envoy Ackermann

New Delhi [India], June 28 (ANI): German businesses see India as a very “stable place” to invest, said the country’s Ambassador Philipp Ackermann on Friday, while anticipating increased German investment in India after the India-EU Free Trade Agreement resolves tax and tariff “impediments”.

In an interview with ANI, Ackermann also informed about the possible visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in October this year, during which business relations and trade relations would be on the agenda. Ackerman noted that migration will also be a key item for discussion.

Speaking on the sidelines of the release of the German India Business Outlook 2024 survey, Ackerman said, “The survey has given us an impression that German business in India is extremely bullish on India. The surveys found that almost 80% of German businesses want to expand their businesses, want to reinvest, build up more factories, and invest more in India.”

“The German businesses see enormous potential in the Indian market. It sees the very impressive growth rates of India. That makes them very happy. After elections again, they find it a very stable place to invest,” the ambassador expressed.

Philipp Ackermann termed the long-pending India-EU Free Trade Agreement a “game changer”. He mentioned that no specific deadline has been set for signing the Free Trade Agreement, stating that “it will take some time.”

“There is no deadline because the FTA relationship is very complicated and it has to take time. We have now seen the ninth round, if I’m not mistaken, which just finished a day or two ago. We are in the process of negotiating the German government is very much behind this,” he said

“We feel that the FTA is very important for our business; it will be even more so if it is a game changer. So I’m very hopeful that at some stage we come to a conclusion, but don’t ask me about the timeline. I think it will take some time,” he added.

When asked what impact the FTA will have on the Indo-German trade relationship, the envoy said that tariffs and taxes are one of the reasons German companies say might impede investment, and with an FTA, the tariff side will be solved.

“For many German companies, an FTA will bring a clear solution and regulation on tariffs and trade and it would be a great gift for their business,” he added.

The proposed trade deal with the EU is one of the most complex FTAs being negotiated by India. There has been no breakthrough despite several rounds of talks.

On June 17, 2022, the European Union relaunched negotiations with India for a Free Trade Agreement, and launched separate negotiations for an Investment Protection Agreement and an Agreement on Geographical Indications (GIs).

The mandator also gave details about the possible visit of German chancellor Olaf Scholz, saying the chancellor will travel to Delhi and parts of his cabinet, including the German ministers, will accompany him and sit down with their Indian counterparts to develop coming programmes and projects and the roadmap.

“So we expect that to happen in the second half of October sometime. The dates have not been finalised yet. But it is a very, very good moment to sit down, compare notes, and say, Where is this apprenticeship going?” he added.

“We will try to develop the future of this partnership during these consultations. Other items on the agenda are certainly business relations and trade relations, but also migration, which is a very interesting issue within and certainly does politics as usual,” he said. (ANI)


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