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  • NRI steel tycoon L N Mittal and Indian Companies in Romania

Shekhawat in Romania when bilateral economic ties are on upswing

Bucharest, Oct. 2, 2005

Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, is on a four-day visit to this former Communist nation at a time when Indo-Romanian economic ties are on the upswing with Bucharest turning into a key investment destination ahead of its scheduled accession to the EU in January 2007.

Shekhawat, who arrived here last evening, would meet top Romanian leaders, including President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Economy and Commerce Minister Ioan-Codrut Seres.

His visit has come at a time when Romania, with whom India has close friendly ties, is becoming an attractive place for greenfield investors and a number of Indian industrialists and businessmen, including NRI steel tycoon L N Mittal, as also Mahindra and Mahindra, making key investments.

Romania's accession to the EU will be a significant move as it would become a critical access point -- a springboard -- due to its geo-strategic location.

For India, the gains could be many as the European community is its largest trading partner, officials point out.

Bucharest has been a votary of New Delhi being made a permanent member of the UN Security Council and has been supportive of its position on the Kashmir issue.

Indian investments in Romania including those by NRIs, include Mittal's buying of a majority share in the massive SIDEX steel plant which contributes nearly five per cent of the East European country's GDP and is the largest in the South-East Europe.

Mahindra and Mahindra is in the process of acquiring Tractorul, the biggest maker of tractors, for expanding its business in Europe. Besides Mahindras are also planning entry into tourism and eco-tourism sector through Club Mahindra. Some of the Tata companies, including Erreka Forbes, have found Romania an attractive destination.

There are a large number of opportunities for closer trade links in the fields of pharma, oil, Information Technology and engineering goods.

The Indo-Romanian trade is doubling each year for the last few years and is set to touch half-a-billion-dollars this year on the back of a booming economy.

Romania's growth rate is five per cent, which is much more than the countries in the region.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, had visited Romania recently along with a business delegation and had said that his mission was to re-launch Indo-Romanian cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

Romania, which had in the past when it was a Communist country, had helped India in petroleum, petroleum products, power and metallurgy sector, is currently witnessing a reverse flow from India, which has now emerged as a major global player in the wake of the economic reforms.

They have also signed an MoU on cooperation in the Information Technology sector.

The two countries are also talking in terms of taking up joint ventures in third countries.




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