By Manish Chand
There is no show like Hannover Messe - cutting-edge technology and innovation blends with enterprise and ingenuity to bring together the world’s leading players in industry and high engineering to this German town every year. This year, Hannover Messe will have a special guest – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the spotlight will be on the unfolding story of India’s resurgence and renewal.(Prime Minister meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Brisbane, November 16, 2014)
It promises to be an evening to remember as Prime Minister Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will formally open the Hannover Messe 2015 on April 12. Looking on will be a galaxy of the world’s leading industrialists and players in high technology from over 100 countries. The next day, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the sprawling 7000-square meters India Pavilion amid much fanfare, singing and beating of drums. More than 400 Indian companies, including IT giants Infosys and TCS, will be showcasing their innovations at the fair. More than 100 Indian top business honchos, Union and state-level ministers, Chief Ministers of various state will be present at this showpiece event of technology, industry and engineering. Around 3,000 German business titans would be participating in the fair. Mr Modi and the German chancellor will also open an Indo-German business summit that is expected to showcase the enthusiasm of the German business community over the India growth story.
India is the partner country at Hannover Messe after a gap of nine years – last time, the honour went to India when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 2006 edition of the fair. The choice of India as the partner country at Hannover Messe this year signals growing global confidence in the India story and the Make in India campaign.
"India’s booming economy, many years of good relations between German and Indian enterprises and the positive experience of hosting India as the Partner Country at Hannover Messe in 2006 were the prime reasons behind designating India as the partner country at the Hannover Messe fair 2015,” says a concept note on the website of Hannover Messe 2015. "Undoubtedly, India is on the track of rapid growth due to its investment friendly pro-reform policies, while EU has also moved to the post-recession era with moderate recovery driven by growth supportive measure. India has been riding high on its stabilization of currency and export-promotion agenda,” it adds.
Make in India
Mr Modi will be looking to get support from top business leaders at Hannover in his quest to make India a global manufacturing hub. It will be a big boost for his pet Make in India mission, which is also his personal passion. "In this scenario, participation in the Hannover fair is surely a good move for India considering its innovative industrial and business achievements, and "Make in India” campaign which is being seen by the world’s top leaders as India’s transformational factor in future,” says the Hannover Messe 2015 website. "There is clearly lot of enthusiasm for Make in India and for the investment possibilities in India,” says India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar.
The Hannover Fair this year will underscore key overarching themes of Prime Minister Modi’s trip to Germany and his trip to Europe: Make in India, Smart Cities, Skill India, business and technology. These core themes will also frame full-spectrum talks between the leaders of India and Germany in Berlin on April 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wasn’t dramatizing when he said in September last year that India and Germany, bound by democratic values, are "made for each other" because of complementary skills and resources to power the next generation of industrial development through partnering in manufacturing and infrastructure development. Germany is India’s largest economic partner and the second largest technology partner in the world, after the US. With the Modi government looking to raise the bar for the India story, one can expect Germany to unveil fresh investments and new initiatives in a host of technology-related areas, including in the area of high engineering, automobiles and green energy. Bolstering urban infrastructure and urban transportation – key facets of India’s 100 smart cities mission – will also see proactive German participation.
Fittingly, there will be a spot of soft power diplomacy has well. Commerce has to blend with ideas and values to deliver its promise of prosperity and development for all. In Hannover, Mr Modi will find time to unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, which has an added resonance this year as it marks the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s return from India to liberate and remake India.
In this journey of remaking India, Germany, Europe’s most powerful economy and an engineering giant, is India’s preferred partner, and will remain so for years to come. It’s time for India to fly, and India is itching to reclaim its place under the global sun.
(Manish Chand is Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network, www.indiawrites.org, an e-magazine-journal focused on international affairs and the India Story)
--The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
India at Hannover Messe
HANNOVER MESSE 2015 – Indian Exhibitors
Briefing by Official Spokesperson on the call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh by German Foreign Minister in Hannover
Remarks by External Affairs Minister at Growth Net Summit 2015 in New Delhi (March 26, 2015)
Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary on Prime Minister’s Forthcoming Visit to France, Germany and Canada
Transcript of Media Briefing by Secretary (West) and Official Spokesperson (March 25, 2015)
Joint Press Conference of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chancellor of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel, Hannover