Union minister of commerce and industry Kamal Nath has said that reaching the trade target of €20 billion by 2012 "appears well within our sight, and the strength of the relationship is evident from the healthy growth in bilateral trade".
During his interaction with Christian Wulff, minister-president of the state of Lower Saxony in Germany today Nath said that the state of Lower Saxony could be an important trading partner for India in sectors like agriculture, mining, crude oil, manufacturing, aviation, shipbuilding, biotechnology, steel, tourism industry and telecommunication.
During discussion both sides agreed to enhance bilateral relations between the state of Lower Saxony and India.
Nath said that India's priority was to carry forward its reform process so as to accelerate growth in an inclusive manner.
"Bilateral trade between India and Germany is showing a consistent growth and during 2007-08, bilateral trade was of $14.7 billion as against $11.5 billion during 2006-07", he ssaid.
India's major exports to Germany are: readymade garments, machinery & instruments, electronic goods, transport equipments while India's major imports from Germany are: machinery (except electrical & electronics), iron & steel, machine tools, organic chemicals, etc.
As regards WTO negotiations, Nath said that: ''We remain committed to a rule-based multilateral trading system. It is important that the development dimension of trade talks remains at the centre. For India and other developing countries, putting the livelihood of hundreds of farmers at risk would be unacceptable. There is a need for greater understanding from the developed countries.''
Nath emphasised that the state of Lower Saxony should take advantage of India's investor-friendly climate and German companies should show greater engagement with India, especially in the sectors of infrastructure, information technology, bio-technology, automobile industry etc. In the comparative list of countries for FDI approvals, Germany ranks 5th.
FDI approvals for Germany during the period 1999 to March 2008 was of the order of $2.90 billion and the actual inflow was of the order of $ 2.20 billion.