President Kovind invites Czech defence cos to manufacture in India

K. R. Srivats | | Updated on: Sep 08, 2018
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Says India’s growth story, Czech Republic’s technology and manufacturing prowess make the countries ‘natural partners’


President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday invited Czech Republic's defence companies to invest and manufacture in India, noting that defence was a vital area of cooperation between the two countries.

Addressing the Czech-Indian Business Forum at Prague during his ongoing State visit to Czech Republic, Kovind said that the requirements of India's defence sector, which was opened to private sector recently, were huge.

Eyeing partnerships

Stating that the Indian economy was dynamic and strong, Kovind urged Czech enterprises to explore, initiate and expand their footprint in India.

Indian companies are also keen to establish new business tie-ups and locate themselves in Czech Republic, he added.

“I invite you to partner us in India’s exciting and transformative journey, which is going to usher in a new era to not only India and Czech Republic, but to the entire world,” he said.

He also encouraged existing Czech companies who had invested in India to remain invested in India.

Kovind said that India’s growth story and Czech Republic's technology and manufacturing prowess made the two countries “natural partners”. He highlighted that Indian economy grew 8.2 per cent in the first quarter this fiscal and that India was the fastest growing large economy in the world. India was now the 6th largest economy in the world and poised to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, he added.



‘Step up efforts on bilateral trade’

Kovind said that bilateral trade at $1.07 billion did not reflect the true potential for economic cooperation between the two countries and there was a need to “redouble our efforts” on this front in the coming days.

He expressed hope that the 11th Joint Economic Commission meeting — to be co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu — next month at Prague would throw up new ideas to boost bilateral trade and diversify economic linkages.

Areas of cooperation

Czech Republic's Trade and Industry Minister Marta Novakova said that Czech is committed to strengthening economic cooperation with India. India ranks among Czech Republic's 10 most important non-European business partners, she added.

She said that opportunities of economic cooperation between the two countries are not fully capitalised. “There are large scale areas like energy where more cooperation could be achieved. Besides thermal and hydro, we see possibilities for nuclear energy in India,” Novakova said.

She also said that Czech companies were willing to cooperate in infrastructure and were already working in India in areas like water management.

Novakova also said that the project of creation of Czech industrial cluster in Bengaluru will come up for discussion at the Joint Economic Commission meeting.

Four MoUs signed

Kovind is accompanied by a 50-member strong business delegation from India. The delegation includes members of industry chambers Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Assocham, PHDCCI and Trade Promotion Council of India.

On Friday, there was a B2B meeting between the business representatives of two sides, leading to signing of four memorandum of understanding in industry and education sectors.

Published on September 10, 2018

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