The country session on Germany at the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit 2019 witnessed discussions on various areas of collaboration between Punjab and the European nation, including the critical problem of stubble management.The 'Punjab-Germany partners for growth' session was centred on the theme of “Punjab and Germany- Partners for Growth”.In her opening remarks, Additional Chief Secretary Ravneet Kaur made a perfect case for Punjab being the best destination in terms of investment and pointed out that the State was located very close to Central Asian market, besides being the World's largest tractor manufacturing hub. The other positives she mentioned included power tariff being lowest Rs. 5 per unit, no major labour problems, robust skill development infrastructure, unified single platform (Invest Punjab) for all necessary clearances, excellent road, rail and air connectivity, Industrial Clusters at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhian & Bathinda, among others.Coming to the trade relations between Punjab and Germany, Ravneet Kaur pointed out that in 2018-19, Punjab was the 4th largest state in iron and steel exports and the 5th largest in Auto components/parts exports to Germany. The session was moderated by Rajesh Nath, Managing Director, VDMA, one of the largest Industry associations in Europe.The panel of experts who deliberated on various areas of collaboration and knowledge sharing between Punjab and Germany included the prominent CXOs of German companies, some of them already based in Punjab.
These included Oliver Ludtke, COO, Verbio; Dr. Anton Reinfelder, Managing Director, GrozBeckert; Sriram Kannan, Managing Director, CLAAS India; Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella Lighting; Nitin Vyas, Managing Director, Beumer India P Ltd: Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director & CEO, Thyssenkrup Industries; Jagminder Bawa, President, Vibracoustic; besides Carlo Graepel, StfanKrahal & Pankaj Gautam from Graepel Perforations. Speaking on the occasion, Vivek Bhatia said that collaborations in the technological sector can help in utilizing stubble in a sustainable way, which would also save the environment from getting polluted. Airing his views, Sriram Kannan lauded the non-existence of labour problems in the state, apart from the good electricity supply, which was vital for growth of the industrial sector. He also described farm mechanization as a core area for growth. Jagminder Bawa appreciated the availability of manpower, and the Pro Industry measures undertaken by the Punjab Government. Dr. Anton Reinfelder described skill development, especially vocational skill, as a futuristic sector to be focused on, and applauded the technically skilled workers from Punjab. Ramashankar Pandey dwelled upon automotive technology as the arena in which the Punjab-German cooperation could work wonders, besides praising the innovative and talented minds the state possesses. Dr. Oliver Ludtke termed Bio-Technology as another sector in which the focus on setting up plants to produce agricultural raw material products like Bio Methane could help in managing paddy straw. Other significant sectors for collaboration discussed included Textile, Food Processing, and Machineries etc.