In his maiden visit to Europe, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is trying to present India as a major manufacturing and investment hub. In his three-nation trip, he is going to visit France and Germany, two of the major economies of the Eurozone followed by Canada, where a significant population of Indians resides.
European Union had blacklisted Modi when the violent communal riots had rocked Gujarat in 2002, under his governance. With India’s economy growing faster than China, Modi is trying to win the opportunity to build relations afresh with the European Union.
India ranks 142nd out of a list of 189 countries in a “ease of doing business” global league table, released by World Bank. Bureaucracy, corruption and strict tax regulations have earned bad reputation to India’s business environment. The new government under Modi has relaxed a number of rules for foreign investors to make India business-friendly. Also, ‘Make in India’ campaign was launched by Modi to promote the country as a lucrative business hub.
India is yet to finalize the deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from the French company Dassault Aviation even after three years of negotiation. However, French President Francois Hollande is optimist that the deal would not define the future business relations between the two countries.
After his visit to France, Modi will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the Europen Union. Modi and Merkel will jointly inaugurate the Hannover Messe trade fair.
In 2013, the business between India and the European Union increased to 72.7 billion euros. Both the partners are positive about the future business opportunities.