Ruling out any kind of downswing in the current volume of trade due to the deep debt crisis that has hit the eurozone, India and Germany have set an ambitious target of euro 20 billion bilateral trade turnover by the end of 2012 with major German companies planning investments in India.
With German economy withstanding the storm in the eurozone and the country playing a major role in resolving one of the worst financial woes faced by Europe since World War II, experts are of the view that India and Germany are well on course of achieving a major milestone of achieving the target of euro 20 billion by 2012. At present, trade between the two nations has gone past the euro 15.5 billion-mark in 2011 and the year is yet to conclude, preliminary figures suggest. “No doubt eurozone debt crisis is 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 said.
Officials from the Foreign Trade Ministry office told visiting Indian journalists here that the achievement came at a time when India and Germany were commemorating 60 years of relations. Various cultural events, exhibitions, conferences on trade, infrastructure projects are being conducted in India during the next 15 months till November 2012. The events are being conducted in 13 cities across India.
On the other hand, after going down in 2009, Indo-German bilateral trade touched a record euro 15 billion in 2010, after witnessing a drop in 2009, officials at the Foreign Trade Ministry said. From January to December, 2010, the total volume of bilateral trade increased by an outstanding 17 per cent as 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 per cent to euro 6.2 billion. With 26 per cent of the total value, textiles (euro 1.5 billion) accounted for the largest share followed by chemical products with euro 585 million. Data processing, electronic and optical equipment came next with euro 579 million. The fourth and fifth spots were taken by machinery with euro 418 million and leather products with euro 396 million respectively.
The volume of German exports to India increased 14.3 per cent to reach euro 9.2 billion as compared to a drop of 3.5 per cent and decline of 1.2 per cent respectively during the two previous years. The top German exports were machinery (euro 2.9 billion) with a 31 per cent share, chemical products and data processing (euro 1.2 billion), electronic and optical equipment sectors (euro 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 such as chemical giant BASF, technological and power leader Siemens, and 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.