The Karnataka government has gone all out to attract the potential investors from the Central Europe (CE). The state’s expertise in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare IT can be optimally matched with the requirements from the countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania among others. Discussions to formulate a memorandum of understanding to explore trade and investment opportunities are underway.
“CE nations are now looking at the next wave of growth. Since its inception into the European Union (EU) in 2004, the region has carved a niche for itself among its more developed Western European counterparts and expected to grow over the next five to 10 years. Now is the time to capitalise on the opportunities, said Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah while deliberating with the CE country heads.
The second edition of the ICEBF Forum held in Bengaluru in association with the FICCI was an endeavour to accelerate economic ties for India and Karnataka with CE countries. We will be able to build on the framework established in the first edition of ICEBF, held at Delhi last year. Karnataka has been consistently ranked amongst the top states in India over the past decade. Now CE’s progress has been on similar lines, he added.
The CE countries are Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Romania, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Specific to the pharma sector, Karnataka companies have gained with their presence in Central Europe: Kemwell entered into a strategic collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany in 2008. Biocon is the first company to export microbial enzymes to Europe and Micro Labs has an office in Germany. In clinical research Norwich Clinical Services and Manipal AcuNova have eyed CE as the markets of tomorrow. Global major Bosch developed a hand-held Fundus Camera embedded with MediBilder software solution with an automated detection platform.
Both Karnataka and the CE countries have the capacity to absorb new ideas and technologies and spot trade and business opportunities. Further, CE economies have significant expertise in chemicals, pharmaceuticals. Karnataka has a thriving industrial eco-system supported with variety of skill sets, niche workforce, world class research facilities, favourable policies and a closely engaged private and public sector. With these key indicators, CE nations have an excellent prospects to do business here, he added.
The state is regarded as technology friendly and forward thinking. It receives the highest foreign direct investment after National Capital Region and Maharashtra. Karnataka’s exports share stands at 13 per cent.
There is a huge demand for manufactured goods and other services which can translate into increased trade and investment. Therefore CE has a great opportunity to Look East, Look towards India and Karnataka to explore partnering opportunities, stated the Karnataka CM.