India seeks Investment from Central Europe

New Delhi: A high level Government – industry delegation led by Secretary in the Department of Heavy Industry, Dr. Asha Ram Sihag, is reaching out to top Czech companies, including Volkswagen and Skoda Transporation to scale up their investment in India, leveraging the country as their global supply chain hub.

Department of Heavy Industry in association with India’s Embassy in Czech Republic and the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) organised ‘India Investment Meet” at the International Engineering Fair (MSV) at Brno, in Czech Republic, on October 8, 2019. Asha Ram Sihag, Secretary Heavy Industry & Ambassador Narinder Chauhan inaugurated the India Pavilion at MSV Brno International Engineering Fair. An Indian pavilion with a strong presence of engineering and technology firms, is showcasing India’s capability to the global businesses at the prestigious fair being held from October 7 – 11, 2019.

Addressing global companies and Technology heads, Dr. Sihag briefed them on how India figures prominently on the investment radar of the top Czech companies. He said that Volkswagen Group is investing one billion Euros in the implementation of its project in India for developing new models, including a mid-size SUV to be showcased in 2020. Importantly, the technical development of new products will take place in India.

The Skoda group transportation has also developed hybrid vehicles and electric buses with the announcement of e-vehicles policy of Department of Heavy Industry. It holds specific interest for India in technology transfer and product development in the e-vehicle market, Dr. Sihag said, underscoring how the country is focusing on green fuel-driven automobile.

Along with EEPC India senior leadership, the DHI Secretary will be visiting plants and facilities of several Czech companies and universities for apprising on R&D and technology development.

In his presentation at the India Investment Meet, Secretary said that India has set a target of raising the size of the capital goods sector from Rs. 2.30 lakh crores in 2014-15 to Rs.7.5 lakh crore in 2025, raising direct and indirect employment to 30 million from 8.4 million at present. Exports must also account for 40 per cent of engineering goods production from 27 per cent at present.

Addressing the gathering, India’s Ambassador to Czech Republic, Mrs. Narinder Chauhan said that India is seeking foreign investment particularly in the high tech areas and further strengthening its manufacturing under the flagship ‘Make in India ‘ programme.

EEPC India Chairman, Ravi Sehgal said that with the Indian Government making the corporate tax rates competitive, foreign investors should invest in Indian manufacturing, especially when the two major economies of the world are locked in a trade war. The Government of India has slashed corporate tax to 22 per cent and even after surcharges and cesses, the effective rate is about 25 per cent. For new investment for plants going into stream before March 2023, the effective corporate tax rate is a shade above 17 per cent, which is very competitive for attractive investment into the ‘Make in India’ programmme.

The International Engineering Fair (MSV) is the leading and prestigious industrial trade fair in Central Europe. More than 1600 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors participate in this fair each year. Over 50 per cent of exhibitors and 10 per cent of visitors come from abroad. There are several Indian companies operating in the Czech Republic Ltd.

Secretary Heavy Industry met with Karl Havlicek, Deputy Prime Minister, Czech Republic at MSV Brno and discussed initiatives to deepen engagement in R&D, mutual trade and cooperation.

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