Luxembourg keen to boost trade with India

Written by Neha Pal | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 12 2010, 05:27am hrs
To stimulate trade and investment between India and Luxembourg, the minister of economy and trade of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, Jeannot Kreck will hold a meeting with representatives of Indian companies on Monday. Companies from different sectors in Luxembourg will also join the meeting. The provisions of the double taxation avoidance agreement signed between India and Luxembourg in June 2008 will be applicable in India from April 1, this year.

Jean-Claude Knebeler, director of foreign trade, ministry of the economy and foreign trade, Luxembourg said, "The government of Luxembourg has taken several steps to further broaden its relationship with India, especially to promote trade and investment between the two countries".

"Luxembourg has a lot to offer, especially in terms of an attractive business and legal framework. Our bilateral trade has tripled from 2002 to 2007 reaching a peak of 52 million euros. India is of major interest to our companies who are eager to find new business partners," added Knebeler. With the GDP growing by an average of 5%, Luxembourg has a wide range of business sectors, particularly steel, chemical, plastics and synthetic materials, engineering, mechanical construction, industrial machinery, processing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, car industry, precision instruments, electronic supplies and glass production.

Several Luxembourg companies have already established a foothold in India, operating in diverse fields such as steel industry, engineering, appliances, air cargo, information technology and consulting.

According to Knebeler, Luxembourg has a very active automotive components industry. Most cars produced in Europe use parts "made in Luxembourg". As India starts exporting cars to Europe, there is ample space for highly interesting synergies between the respective industries.

Knebeler said many Indian companies need a solid logistical base to distribute their products in Europe. The IT sector has crucial potential. Software applications play a key role in the banking, financial services and insurance industry which is one of the country's biggest strength. Indian firms are experts in the field and will find ample opportunities in Luxembourg.

Sudhir Kumar Kohli, president, Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg (IBCL) said, "The two countries can make the best of the situation by forging closer ties and the launch of IBCL is the first step in this direction." For Indian banks, presence in Luxembourg can provide easy access to the whole European single market, allows to tap the mutual funds expertise and to gain from the proximity to the head-quarters of the European Investment Bank, one of the biggest infrastructure lenders in the world.