India, Germany Sign Deal To Fast-Track Business Approvals

05/10/2015 3:29 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 05: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during German India Government consultations on October 05, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Merkel is on a three day visit to India which will see her boost already strong ties with the country, as Germany continues to be India's most imporant European trading partner. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- India and Germany signed a deal on Monday to fast-track business approvals, an arrangement to make it easier for German companies to operate in Asia's third largest economy that was announced as Chancellor Angela Merkel visited New Delhi.

The fast-track approvals process will ensure that German firms will have a single point of contact in the Indian administration, helping them to navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts business initiative.

The agreement is the first of its kind and comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to attract foreign investment in support of his "Make in India" drive to boost industrial investment and create skilled jobs.

Indian Commerce Secretary Amitabh Kant said that under the fast-track arrangement India "would monitor on a monthly basis all issue for German companies.'

"The prospects are huge because India is just beginning its long spurt for growth," Kant told a business round table.

Merkel was expected to urge Modi to return to the negotiating table to discuss a proposed free-trade agreement with the European Union that has been on ice since India walked out of talks this year.

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