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Fadnavis sets priorities for Hannover Trade Fair

Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: As Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is set to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Hannover tomorrow, he has several priorities in focus, including setting up a manufacture facility for German auto giant Volkswagen and attracting Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab to invest in the state.

Besides, Fadnavis will also meet top officials of bus manufacturing company VOLVO and Swedish engineering group Sandvik for expanding their base in Maharashtra.

The Hannover Trade Fair in Germany, to be held between April 13 and 17, will be jointly opened by Modi along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

India is partner country at Hannover Mess 2015, the world’s largest industrial trade fair.

“Till now, companies like Volkswagen used to be in a semi-knocked down state where they import every part of the car and assemble it in the country to save customs duty. This does not create value addition, nor does it bring in investments for us.

“Thus, we have asked Volkswagen to manufacture cars here. Maharashtra will be the place in India where Volkswagen will manufacture its car engines,” Praveen Pardeshi, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister told.

Pardeshi said another important aspect of Fadnavis’s trip will be to pursue Volkswagen to set up a network of suppliers of automobile parts in India.

“We want all the sub-parts and ancillaries of the car to be made in Indian units,” he said.

Explaining the current working of Volkswagen, Pardeshi said the company is currently assembling around 1,30,000 vehicles a year and gives employment to about 3,500 people.

“They are now planning to expand by around Rs 38 billion, making it the largest German investment in the country. While this will also generate direct employment, companies making ancillary units which supply them parts, will thus enable further employment,” he said.

According to him, this trip is aimed at mobilising additional Rs 1,500 crore in the next 3-5 years.

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