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Pranab calls for German SMEs to join hand

India looks forward to the participation of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Germany in India's growing consumer market, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delhi.

"Indian companies are increasingly venturing into investments and acquisitions in Germany, and India, in turn, sees immense opportunities for enhanced German investments in its physical infrastructure. India also looks forward to the participation of the small and medium enterprises of Germany in India's growing consumer market," said the President during a meeting with his German counterpart on Wednesday. 

"Today, not only does India celebrate Germany as its largest trading partner in Europe, but it also attaches great importance to German development assistance which has helped bring advanced technology into India and enhanced India's energy efficiency while developing alternative sources of renewable energy," he added.

H.E. Mr. Joachim Gauck, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany called on the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 5th February at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President also hosted a banquet in his honour following the meeting.

The President said India attaches high priority to India-Germany strategic partnership based on shared values. India considers Germany as a long standing and good friend. Germany is the most important economic partner of India in Europe. In 2012 bilateral trade between India and Germany was Euro 17.5 billion. But there is much more potential to enhance commerce between the two countries. The President expressed appreciation for the development assistance provided to India by Germany.

The President said it is matter of great satisfaction that India and Germany have a strong partnership on regional and international issues. The two countries should continue with efforts for a fundamental reform of the UN Security Council and other multilateral institutions that reflects current realities.

The President said the two countries are bastions of democracy and freedom. Both have a shared respect for the rights of individuals, rule of law and a free media.

In his banquet speech, the President said India sees Gauck's visit as yet another occasion for Germany and India to reinforce their long standing ties of friendship and co-operation. The "Strategic Partnership" is a culmination of the two nations' continuous commitment, over the decades, to realise the full potential of the mutually beneficial relationship.

The President congratulated German President for his personal commitment and his contribution to the promotion of democracy and human rights and said he is confident that his visit will be an important milestone in strategic partnership between India and Germany and will set the agenda for joint endeavours in the coming days.

Speaking at the welcome banquet, the German President said Germany considers India to be a key partner in the region. Germany greatly admires the path to modernity pursued by India in the 21st century. 

"A successful India, which offers its citizens the chance to live their lives in peace and freedom, sends an important message to Asia and indeed to the whole world. Such an India stands for the advantages of an open society, for pluralism and for democracy. It is important that India and Germany closely coordinate on global issues such as security, development, global trade and climate protection," added German President.