The main construction equipment associations for India and Europe announced they are to increase bilateral trade and knowledge sharing at an official ceremony conducted at Bauma yesterday.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) and the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (ICEMA) formally establishes an agreement to cooperate on regulatory convergence, exchange of statistics and extend commercial partnerships between the two regions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, CECE president Enrico Prandini, said, “Both associations represent the construction equipment industry and construction infers that we are building something, we also represent the demolition industry which represents the elimination of barriers and obstacles.
“We want to build something that will be profitable for both parties. In Europe, we are a mature market so we think we know everything but it is not true and sometimes we need to exchange opinions with new, growing markets to understand what the customer wants but also to help each other to commonize rules because trading rules may benefit one side more than the other and to exchange data to improve our respective economies because when you know your partner better you can improve more.
“I am quite sure that this will be just the first step as Europe is ready to learn, to transfer knowledge and to gain experience from markets that are growing so fast.”
India has a high annual growth rate of 7%, however its construction and mining equipment industry is in double digits, according to iCEMA president, Arvind Garg, who speaking shortly after Prandini said, “I believe this being the first step is true, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step and this is what’s happening today. While government to government discussions may take place on very large matters, in our own small way we can try and build bridges to see how we can learn from each other.
“India as a country is growing and as an association, as well as a country believe we have tremendous potential but anyone who visits will understand there is also a need to build infrastructure.
“We want to bring in the best practices for the customer, we are not content with bringing old technology to our customers, we believe they deserve the best – contemporary equipment, contemporary practices – and we are therefore embarking on a journey to engage our government to bring in rules around emissions, safety and up-skilling of our people.
“We already have large European manufacturers with substantial stakes in Indian companies to bring in the latest construction equipment and I, therefore, believe this cooperation will mature into a relationship that will be mutually beneficial for growing our respective members businesses.”
European companies already provide 24% of construction machinery imports to India, a nation with the second largest population in the world (1.2 billion people) but with over 500 million residents on the European continent Member of the European Parliament, Jan Zahradil, who attended the ceremony believes much more trade between the two regions is possible. Zahradli, said, “As vice chairman of the EU’s international trade committee, main role is to help remove trade barriers between European and overseas countries and of course India is one of the most important partners, however the potential between the two still remains not fully exploited.
“India accounts for only 2% of EU trade and only ranks as the 9th trading partner but the EU is India’s first trading partner and it’s main purveyor for investment. Therefore, I take today’s opportunity as a very positive example of mutual understanding and cooperation, I would like to congratulate both sides for signing the MOU and wish that others would follow in that same spirit.”