India and Germany today signed a joint declaration of intent on the the terms of reference of a joint working group (JWG) on automotive sector.
The declaration was signed by Surajit Mitra, additional secretary in the ministry of heavy industry and head of the Indian delegation and Wolfgang Hahn, director-general, strategic planning and chairman of the German delegation, in the presence of Sontosh Mohan Dev, minister of heavy industry and public enterprises and Tiefensee, minister of transport, building and urban affairs, Federal Republic of Germany.
The joint working group also decided to form three working sub-groups - Technology Group, Institutional Cooperation Group and Training and Skill Development Group.
''The joint declaration of intent that has been signed today reinforces our mutual commitment to further deepen the ties between our countries,'' Sontosh Mohan Dev told the inaugural meeting of the Indo-German joint working group.
He said the economic downturn that has affected the German auto industry and exposed our own sector, has made this initiative between our countries more relevant and essential today.
''In addition to meeting the concerns of sustainable automobility, the challenge before this Indo-German joint working group will also include initiating steps for quality improvement, enhanced productivity through possible joint ventures and technology sharing,'' the minister said.
''India is in a unique position of having twin advantages of possessing one of the largest pools of talented scientists, engineers and technicians in the world available at extremely competitive costs. We believe that given the strength of Germany in the area of R & D, our countries can gain from vast synergies through R & D and technology cooperation and tie-ups,'' he said.
''The JWG will provide India and Germany an institutional framework to generate synergy in the auto sector for mutual development and the initiative would lead to greater exchange of information and cooperation in the fields of research and development, sustainable alternative fuels and drives and automotive efficient engine technologies. This will help in meeting the challenges posed by the need for reduction of energy consumption in the transport sector and for environment protection. The JWG will also facilitate institutional cooperation for the development of the auto industries in both the countries,'' Surajit Mitra told reporters on the sidelines of the JWG meeting.
The joint working group on automotive sector is the fourth JWG established under the aegis of Indo-German Joint Commission on Industrial and Economic Cooperation (JCM). The other three groups are in the areas of coal, infrastructure and tourism.
The department of economic affairs (DEA) is the nodal department of Indo-German JCM.