Harping on the ‘Make in India’ mantra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation not only to German investors but to the whole world to come and see how India had changed under his government, and promised to ‘make corrections wherever required’.
Building on India’s all too visible partnership of this year’s Hannover Fair – the world largest in industrial technology – Modi said he was confident that the journey to make India a global manufacturing hub ‘cannot be stopped by our own rules and regulations’.
Inaugurating the large India pavilion with German chancellor Angela Merkel and later addressing the Indo-German Business Summit, Modi said: “I am here to assure the German companies that India is now a changed country…Once again I invite you to India. I assure you of my personal attention in your success while you are in India.”
The two leaders went round the India pavilion and visited several stalls, as Indian sights, sounds, smells and food pervaded the Hannover fair with several upbeat state governments and nearly 350 Indian companies setting up stalls to interact with potential German investors and partners.
Merkel, who enjoyed Indian tea with Modi, said she was impressed with the way India had showcased itself at the fair: "We think India has a future when you consider democracy, innovation capacity and prosperity. Your country is a very good example that this is easily possible".
She added: "I think Hannover fair would allow us to turn a new chapter in our relationship. Let me assure you that Germany stands ready to develop this partnership."
Detailing steps taken to ensure ease of business, Modi said: "The entire world is looking at India. Demography, democracy and demand are attracting the world to India. Low-cost manufacturing, efficient governance and no-defect manufacturing makes India a global engine in the manufacturing centre."
He added: “(In) this year's budget we have rationalized a number of issues which were bothering you…We have removed lot of regressive taxation regimes. In our very first Budget, we said we will not resort to retrospective taxation”.
“And if such issues do arise, and if they do they will have to be reviewed at the highest level. We have taken bold steps of not dragging the litigation in a few cases where we felt that the steps of the previous government were not on right lines”.
After meeting CEOs of German companies, Modi left for Berlin, where he was scheduled to visit the Siemens Technical Academy, meet Sigmar Gabriel, vice-chancellor and Minister for Economics and Energy, and attend a community reception in the evening.
Watch: Make in India launched to create jobs for youth, says PM Modi