State Government of North-Rhine Westphalia Seeks to Promote Indian IT Businesses Venturing into Europe

The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the biggest metropolitan region in Germany and one of the biggest and strongest industrial hubs in Europe is actively encouraging Indian IT companies to expand operations into Germany as a gateway into the vast opportunities across Europe. A high-level delegation, lead by Mr. Karl-Uwe Bütof, Head of Industrial Policy and Foreign Relations Dept., Ministry of Economic Affairs of NRW Germany visited Bangalore, and addressed the NRW.INVEST seminar NRW.INVEST_TIMIZZERattended by entrepreneurs and representatives of leading IT companies. Offerings from NRW government for Indian companies and investors and opportunities in Europe from a base in NRW, formed the highlights of the seminar.

Elaborating on the chances for Indian IT businesses in NRW and the rest of Europe, Mr. Bütof said, “Our Region is a prime market and business location for IT companies in Europe. At 568.9 billion euros, NRW generates 22.1 percent of the German GDP, which is also about 12% of the GDP of the entire European Union. This puts NRW clearly ahead of all the other federal states and an exciting potential market for Indian IT industry.”

According to Mr. Bütof, there are over 754,000 small-and-medium businesses operating in NRW and these form the economic backbone of the region. Nowhere else in Germany do industry-related service providers (e.g. consultancies, engineering offices, ICT, EDP, R&D) contribute so much to innovation and value added as in NRW. Against this background, NRW has a lot to offer for Indian IT-companies, not only as a market for their services and products but also as a location to further development of customized services and products for the European market.

Mr. Bütof also cited the examples of Indian companies such as Wipro (Meebush), TCS (Dusseldorf), MindTree (Kolgn) and TechMahindra to name a few which have set up successful operations or development centers in NRW region. The NRW region hosts about 25% of the Indians in Germany, being one of the best economically developed region they have a very robust healthcare system, safe and secure social environment, an advanced financial ecosystem along with high quality of life.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia collaborated with NASSCOM and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in bringing the NRW.INVEST seminar to India. Other members of the delegation included: Ms. Monika Gatzke, Head of ICT Cluster NRW who spoke on the the European IT sector, in particular the NRW ICT market and the challenges and chances for India’s IT industry and promised companies to help them to support them with ICT network to start their operations, Ms. Astrid Becker, Head-Asian Region, NRW Invest, who spoke of the organisation’s support and collaboration initiatives, Mr. Shreeram Iyer, Strategic IT Advisor, NRW Invest who talked of the bilateral relations between India and Germany, specifically NRW region. They were joined by Dr. Ingo Karsten, Consul-General at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangalore, with NASSCOM VP Mr. Ameet Nivsarkar represented the Indian IT community. The NRW.INVEST seminar aimed at guiding Indian companies particularly SMEs to set up operations in NRW, access facilities and incentives, and also establish networks that will enable them to capitalize on pan-Europe business opportunities from NRW.

Some facts about Germany and NRW:

– Tax Structure: Germany is not a high tax nation. The overall tax burden of joint-stock companies is 29.8 per cent and thus, compared to other countries, on an average level.

– Safety: North Rhine-Westphalia is the safest German state. Ten of the 20 large cities with the lowest crime rate are to be found here.

– Business Climate: With Cologne, Essen, Dortmund and Düsseldorf, NRW is the world’s number one trade fair location. More than 60 internationally leading trade fairs such as Anuga, Boot, Drupa, MEDICA or Photokina attract approx. 6 million visitors every year.

– FDI: North Rhine-Westphalia is number one in Germany in terms of foreign capital. With 27.1 percent (EUR 189.8 billion), the state accounted for the highest share of all 16 federal states in terms of direct investments in Germany (EUR 648.7 billion) at the end of 2010. NRW is particularly attractive for financial investors.

About NRW Invest:

NRW Invest is a 100% state-owned body under the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Source: NRW Germany

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