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Jeannot Krecké on economic mission to India

Published Monday April 23 2007

The Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mr. Jeannot Krecké was on an economic mission to India from the 23rd to the 26th of April 2007.

Interview in New Delhi with Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce

The first step in this journey led the Minister and the representatives of about fifteen Luxembourg companies to New Delhi. For the Minister, this visit to one of the strong economies of tomorrow was aimed at achieving two main objectives: consolidate the already excellent political relations with the Indian Government and reinforce the economic relations between the two countries.

Jeannot Krecké met with his Indian homologue Kamal Nath on the 23rd of April. The Luxembourg Minister underlined the importance of continuing the important relations by recalling that since his nomination, he visited India every year. The Indian Minister of Commerce, as for him, remembered that he had appreciated the fact that the Luxembourg Government did not attempt to make impossible the OPA of Mittal Steel on Arcelor by legal disposition, which in fact allowed Luxembourg to be the headquarters of the world’s number one Iron and Steel industry. Following their tête-à-tête discussion, the two Ministers presided over a lunch during which members of the Luxembourg commercial delegation could exchange views with the representatives of Indian companies.

Seminar promoting Luxembourg economy

Apart from the various individual meetings, the meetings between the different managers of companies took place during two seminars organized on the 23rd of April 2007. In the morning, a seminar devoted to logistics, aimed at promoting Luxembourg as a logistics platform comprising notably of high value added activities took place. The Minister explained that more and more products destined to be exported to Europe were produced in India and should be adequately packed and dispatched, that the stocks should be well managed, and after-sales service must be ensured, from a European base.

A second seminar which received a frank success with around 400 participants showed a more diversified aspect of the Luxembourg economy, the Luxembourg companies present representing sectors varying from steel industry to e-commerce passing through banks, business advocates, consultants and automobile dealers. Two companies established in Luxembourg, the consultant Evalueserve and the Internet telephone provider Skype, presented the advantages Luxembourg has to offer. Apart from the favourable regulatory environment, they notably highlighted the easy accessibility of political leaders and the excellent quality of life which characterizes the Grand Duchy.

Interview with Mr. Palaniappan Chidambaram, Minister of Finance: Approval of the Double Tax treaty

On the 24th of April 2007, the Minister had a meeting with the Indian Minister of Finance, Palaniappan Chidambaram mainly in order to discuss the Double Tax treaty between Luxembourg and India. The ministers concluded that the text proposed by the administrations of the two countries was henceforth accepted as final.

The administration of direct contributions from Luxembourg has been in serious negotiations with the Indian administration for the last 15 years and the members of the two governments regularly discussed on this subject, as was the case during the recent visits to India by the Minister of Budget Luc Frieden and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn.

After the approval of the text in all its details, the governments of the two countries could then sign the Double Tax Treaty, thus allowing Luxembourg companies having their activities in India of not suffering from any competitive disadvantage compared to their competitors who are taxed only once. This treaty will make Luxembourg more attractive for Indian companies which have plans to invest in Europe.

Seminar in Bangalore: “Luxembourg presents itself as a “terre d’accueil” for Indian companies

During the second stage of the Mission, the Minister and the business delegation headed to Bangalore on the 25th and 26th of April 2007. During the economic seminar organized on the 25th of April, Jeannot Krecké declared: “Just three years ago, we came to India to facilitate the investments and business of Luxembourg companies. Today, the aim of our mission is not limited to this aspect, because more and more Indian companies invest in Europe and Luxembourg presents itself as an ideal investment destination for them.

This seminar, jointly organized by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), thus allowed to inform hundreds of leaders of Indian companies about the advantages of investing or settling in Luxembourg. This event was combined with a contact session between the representatives of Luxembourg companies and Indian business leaders.

Visit to the Indian “Silicon Valley”

On the 26th of April, the Minister accompanied by the leaders of the Luxembourg companies visited many IT companies. Bangalore is known as the Indian Silicon Valley and a large number of global firms are established here. New technologies have known an impressive growth in India with a 10 times increase in the turnover and the number of employees of the sector. Bangalore and the State of Karnataka account for more than a third of Indian exports in the field of Information Technology and communication. Among the companies visited, WIPRO is on the verge of opening a subsidiary in Luxembourg. The delegation visited the medicine manufacturing unit of the Indian company Biocon. In the context of the health technology-related plan of action approved by the Government Council on 18 April 2007, the minister and his collaborators could thus share their views with the expectations of a global player from the biotechnologies sector.

The Minister also met with the Governor of the State of Karnataka with whom he exchanged views on the economic relations between India and Luxembourg (between Bangalore and the European Union).