India and Germany have set a target of €20 billion bilateral trade turnover by the end of 2012 with major German companies planning investments across sectors in India.
With the Germany economy looking to withstand the euro debt crisis sweeping across countries in the European Union (EU) and Berlin emerging as major player in resolving the woes of some countries, experts feel that India and Germany were well on course of achieving a major milestone of achieving a turnover of €20 billion by 2012. At present, the trade between the two nations has gone past the € 15.5 billion mark in 2011 and the year is yet to conclude, preliminary figures suggest. ``No doubt euro zone debt crisis are going to slow down growth and a lot of uncertainty prevails, but this will not apply to the India-Germany bilateral trade as it is witnessing a robust growth,’’ a senior foreign trade Ministry official remarked.
The good news on the trade front comes at a time when the two countries are commemorating 60 years of relations. Various cultural events, exhibitions, conferences on trade, infrastructure projects are being conducted in India to celebrate the event till November 2012. The events will be conducted in 13 cities across India. Officials said Indo-German bilateral trade touched a record €15 billion in 2010, after witnessing a drop in 2009. From January to December 2010, the total volume of bilateral trade increased by 17 % compared to a negative percentage in 2009. Germany is India's most important trading partner in the European Union, according to figures of the German Federal Statistical Office.
Similarly, Indian exports to Germany in the past year rose 21.5 % to €6.2 billion. With 26 % of the total value, textiles (€1.5 billion) accounted for the largest share followed by chemical products with €585 million. Data processing, electronic and optical equipment came next with €579 million. The fourth and fifth spots were taken by machinery with €418 million and leather products with €396 million respectively.The volume of German exports to India increased 14.3 % to reach €9.2 billion, compared to drop of 3.5 % and decline of 1.2 % respectively during the previous years. The top German exports were machinery (€2.9 billion) with a 31 % share, chemical products and data processing (€1.2 billion), electronic and optical equipment sectors (€894 million). This was followed by exports of electric equipment and metals and vehicle parts.
Prime minister, Manmohan Singh and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel have already laid the path for strengthening of the Indo-German trade relations. Companies like chemical giant BASF, technological and power leader, Siemens, cutting edge technological leader for automotive and renewable energy, Bosch are upbeat about India’s growth and have already outlined plans for big investments in India during the next few years. Both the countries have also identified focus areas for cooperation including those relating to education, research and nuclear physics.