For India, the European Union has been the largest trade partner in the world, big source of direct investment, a major contributor of developmental aid and an important source of technology for some time now. Austria, as a member of the European Union since 1995, is an important link for India in its relationship with Europe, especially with countries of central and Eastern Europe. The global economic crisis of last two years has further underscored the importance of taking the bilateral commercial relationship further towards its high potential.
The first Indo-Austrian industrial collaboration was signed as early as 1956, for supply of steel manufacturing technology for the Rourkela steel plant. Since then, there has been significant cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, railways, manufacturing, metallurgy, automotive industry and environmental technology through a large number of collaborations, know-how transfers and joint ventures. Over 500 Austrian companies are doing business in India, many having representative offices in various sectors of the industry-most of them having joint venture with Indian companies. India and Austria have a Joint Economic Commission for institutional cooperation, the 12th session of which was held in October 2009 in Vienna.
Some typical areas of Austrian Investments – Austrian companies/Joint-Ventures in India:
- Tunnelling, Road tolling systems.
- Railway track-maintenance machines, Production of turnouts and switches, Research for engine development and emission measuring.
- Electromechanical equipment, Turbines, Production of industrial boilers, Production of printed circuit boards, Production of electronic chips.
- Engineering services for the steel sector, Special alloy tools.
- Automotive transmission, automotive engineering, production of automotive wires.
- Production of wind generators, Waste-to-energy cogeneration, Trenchless relining of drainage systems and canals.