Special Correspondent

50th anniversary of Indo-German Chamber

CHENNAI: Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dayanidhi Maran, appealed to the business community in Germany to invest in hard infrastructure in India.

"Like the Delhi international airport, the Chennai airport is up for takes for overseas joint ventures," Mr. Maran said while participating in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) and the regional annual meet on Friday.

"The DMK Government in Tamil Nadu is in the process of building new infrastructure in Chennai and other second-tier cities such as Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Madurai, and Tirunelveli. The Government is also planning for an elevated highway linking Tambaram and Parrys Corner," Mr. Maran explained.

Largest manufacturing point

Apart from being the most favoured destination by automobile majors including BMW and Mercedes Benz, Chennai would be the single largest manufacturing point for mobile handsets with Nokia, Motorola and Flextronics.

Stressing that the need of the hour was to encourage more small medium enterprises to set up shop in Germany and vice-versa, the Minister said the Government's role would be to do "match making" and create job opportunities for Indians and Germans.

India, the Minister said was "dynamically changing" and not only Germany but all the developed nations are leaning towards India and Indians.

While underscoring the importance of furthering the strong partnership between India and Germany, Bernd Muetzelburg, Ambassador of Germany in India, spoke of how India was getting global attention and Germany was in no way lagging behind by way of opening up information centres, working towards a more relaxed visa regime, and enhancing more economic and cultural cooperation between the countries.

Stefan Graf, Consul, Consulate-General of Federal Republic of Germany, Chennai, said as many as 40,000 visas were being granted, which itself was a positive indication of the strong and cordial ties between India and Germany.

Ranjit Pratap, Chairman, Southern Region Council, IGCC, and Prasad Chandran, Vice-President, IGCC, were among those who spoke of the growing ties between the two countries.