It’s crucial for India, Germany to follow path of sustainable growth: Auster
Close cooperation between India and Germany would be beneficial for not only the businesses involved but also for the non-human life forms on this planet — Manfred Auster, Consul General, German Consulate Kolkata, at CII East India Summit.
Bhubaneswar: “It is crucial for both India and Germany to follow the path of sustainable development to achieve the envisioned paradigm shift towards sustainability,” Manfred Auster, Consul General, German Consulate Kolkata, said. Auster was speaking at the Country Session of Germany at the CII organised by East India Summit virtually on Thursday.
Speaking about The Sustainable Development Goals, the German Consul General to Kolkata said that the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all will be fructified if tackled with right approach which would contribute towards achieving SDG 13. The recently elected Government, he articulated, would strongly focus on the environment and climate crisis. Germany is committed to end coal production and its use by 2037 and there is likelihood that with the new Government in power, the said date would be brought forward considerably, Auster added.
Investment in renewable resources will help eradicate coal and other fossil fuels, he opined. As per the German Consul General in Kolkata, India too foresees big investment in electric infrastructure. He further stated that Germany would emerge as a strong partner at The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference. He was also of the view that Germany counts on India and its proactive involvement in the negotiations. Speaking about the National Infrastructure Pipeline, Auster pointed out that carbon-free mobility is high up on his country’s agenda. Improving the environment and lessening the effect of climate crisis should be the objective for all, he further said.
Nari Kalwani, Chairman, Eastern Region Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, asserted that the Eastern Region of India had a great prospect for investing opportunity as the region is a powerhouse for educated and creative innovators. Kalwani stated there exists a huge untapped potential for organic products in the German market. According to him, investment in cold chain could substantially improve the performance of the region. He urged both Indian and German entrepreneurs to make use of this industry-friendly opportunity and invest in Bengal for strengthening the Indo-German business relations.
Stefan Halusa, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, mentioned that the Chamber has played a crucial role in advancing corporate as well as cultural understanding between India and Germany, for over 60 years. German companies value the availability of good talent, quality of life proximity to south-eastern countries and dynamic support of the government. He also pointed out a few challenges brought out by a survey of German companies in India performed jointly by KPMG Germany and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. German companies see Indian bureaucracy and its various administrative hurdles as a major obstacle, he further said.
The complexity of the Indian tax system, legal uncertainties and unclear regulatory frameworks, often in connection with a lack of or lengthy legal enforcement, are perceived as major operational difficulties by more than a third of German companies. India under the EU signed a connectivity partnership in May which would focus in the improvement of physical and digital infrastructure in the two countries, he added.
Sascha Büchel, Joint Managing Director, Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt Ltd, highlighting the use of silicones manufactured by them, stated that they were a medium-sized company with a turnover of €6bn. Both India and Germany create an array of opportunities for one another, which remain uncharted, he said. He further added that though Indian education gives out many talents in the market, there is not enough jobs for them in Eastern Region. According to him, his company being one of the global hubs of innovation generates a lot of employment.
Uwe Sperber, Head of Operations, Hubner Interface Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, stated that his organisation had expertise in manufacturing of Rail Gangways, Bus Bellows and Canopies for Airport solutions. He called to attention that his organisation was engaged in not only connecting trains and buses but also connecting India and Germany. Speaking about metrolite, Sperber pointed out that as an alternative to BRTS and Metro systems, the Indian Government has conceptualised an economical system in the form of Metro Lite and Metro Neo for tier 1 (feeder), tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Approximately, 19 cities are under consideration for Metrolite and Metro Neo systems, he added. Nashik Metro Neo is at an advanced stage of the project, he informed.
Anupam Arora, Business Unit Head, Siemens Mobility, in his address, mentioned that Siemens has partnered with India for nearly 150 years. “We stand for continuity in innovation on roads, rail and for infrastructure,” he added. He mentioned that with digitalisation, Siemens enabled mobility to operators worldwide to make trains and infrastructure intelligent, increase value, aid in sustainability across entire lifecycle and enhance passenger experience guarantee availability.
Sushil Somani, Director, Zagro Premier Rail Solutions Pvt Ltd, said that despite the quantum leaps India has made in moving up the Ease of Doing Business, there is an urgent need to revitalise and strengthen the bilateral relationship. Pointing out challenges faced by the German companies in India, he said he was hopeful relevant authorities would reevaluate and take steps to mitigate the same and aid in growth.