Prime Minister Modi urges Austrian businesses to take advantage of the manufacturing opportunities in India
In a significant move to bolster economic ties between India and Austria, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Karl Nehammer jointly addressed a group of leading CEOs from both nations in Vienna on Wednesday (July 10, 2024). The meeting brought together top executives from various sectors including infrastructure, automobile, energy, engineering, and start-ups, highlighting the deepening economic cooperation between the two countries.

Both leaders began by acknowledging the crucial role played by industry leaders in strengthening bilateral relations. They emphasized the increasing trade and investment between India and Austria over the years and called for greater collaboration to realize the full potential of this partnership. The meeting underscored the importance of industrial and economic cooperation in fostering stronger ties and mutual growth.

Prime Minister Modi addressed the Austrian business stakeholders, highlighting the fast-unfolding opportunities in India. He pointed out that India is on a path to becoming the third-largest economy in the world in the coming years. Prime Minister Modi attributed this potential to India's transformative progress over the past decade, driven by political stability, policy predictability, and a reform-oriented economic agenda.

He detailed the steps taken by the Indian government to improve the Ease of Doing Business, which has been instrumental in attracting global majors to the country. He highlighted India's success in the start-up sector, the creation of next-generation infrastructure, and the nation’s commitment to advancing the green agenda. To further this collaboration, he suggested organizing a joint hackathon between the two countries.

Highlighting India's strides in digital public infrastructure, Prime Minister Modi spoke about the significant measures taken to improve connectivity and logistics. He highlighted the role of digital infrastructure in India's economic growth, noting its importance in facilitating smoother and more efficient business operations.

During the interaction, he urged Austrian businesses to take advantage of the high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing opportunities in India under the 'Make in India' programme.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized that India, with its robust economic landscape, is poised to become a global supply chain destination. The Prime Minister elaborated on the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which aims to attract global manufacturing companies in fields such as semiconductors, medical devices, and solar PV cells. He stated that India's economic strengths and skilled workforce, combined with Austrian technology, form a natural partnership for business growth and sustainability.

Inviting Austrian businesses to be part of India’s growth story, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the plethora of investment opportunities available. He encouraged Austrian majors to leverage India’s economic landscape for both domestic and international markets, reiterating the benefits of collaborating with a rapidly growing economy. Prime Minister Modi's address aimed to inspire confidence among Austrian business leaders about the potential for mutual growth and the benefits of investing in India.

According to the Joint Statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Modi and Chancellor Nehammer, the two leaders identified a stronger economic and technology partnership between the two countries as a strategic objective. 

They also recognised the vital importance of research, scientific tie-ups, technology partnerships and innovation in driving forward the bilateral partnership.

The leaders welcomed initiatives to link the innovation and start-up ecosystems of the two countries through the Start-Up Bridge set up during the visit of the Austrian Minister of Labour and Economy to India in February 2024 and the successful visit of a group of Indian Start-Ups to Austria in June 2024, the Joint Statement said.

The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both leaders expressing optimism about the future of Austria-India relations. The discussions opened the potential for enhanced cooperation in various sectors, driven by shared goals and mutual interests. The call for greater collaboration, joint initiatives like hackathons, and a focus on leveraging each other’s strengths set the stage for a robust and dynamic partnership.

The Austria-India CEOs meeting marked a significant step towards deepening economic ties between the two nations. With strong leadership and a clear vision, both countries are poised to explore new avenues of cooperation and achieve shared prosperity. Prime Minister Modi’s address highlighted the transformative potential of India's economy, inviting Austrian businesses to join in and contribute to this remarkable growth story. As both nations continue to strengthen their bilateral relations, the future looks promising for India-Austria economic cooperation.