INDIA INVITES AUSTRIA TO PARTICIPATE IN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
ANAND SHARMA INAUGURATES INDIA-AUSTRIA JOINT ECONOMIC FORUM
Date : 17 Feb 2010
Location : New Delhi
Speaking at the inaugural session of the India-Austria Joint Economic Forum (JEC), here today, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has invited Austria to participate in the creation and management of world class infrastructure in India. "We expect an investment of approximately $ 1.5 trillion by 2016-17 for creation and up-gradation of our infrastructure", he added. He further emphasised that India has a large skilled human resource base, which can be combined with Austria's technology and investment to create a win-win situation for both sides. The JEC was attended by Mr. Josef Proll, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance; Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austrian Minister of Economy, Family and Youth along with senior officials and Chambers of Commerce from both the countries.
During the interaction, Shri Sharma stated that despite the global economic slowdown, there has been impressive growth in the volume of bilateral trade. Bilateral trade during the fiscal 2007-08 was of the order US $ 769 Million and it has jumped to US $ 1193 million during 2008-09. "Post liberalisation India has become a preferred destination for investments. In the comparative list of countries for FDI approvals, Austria ranks 31. Total FDI inflows from Austria during April 2000 to November 2009 were to the tune of US $ 72.14 million", he added.
On multilateral trade front, Shri Sharma said that India remains committed to a rule-based multilateral trading system. "Currently there is a perception of increased costs on account of trade measures like constantly enhanced standards and complicated regulatory procedures are perceived as barriers to trade. It is important that regulations and related procedural costs are minimised through simplification of procedures / rules for inclusive trade growth", he added.
The major items of export to Austria are: drugs, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, transport equipments, machinery & instruments, gems & jewellery, manufactures of metals etc. The major items of import from Austria are: iron & steel, electronic goods, organic chemicals, petroleum, crude & products, project goods etc.
The major sectors which attracted FDI inflows from Austria include electrical equipments, paper & pulp products, mathematical surveying & drawings, power and chemicals etc.