“Discover India in Hamburg” was the invitation, and more that 31.000 took the chance to discover the ties linking Hamburg to the Indian subcontinent at more than 80 events hosted by this year’s India Week Hamburg 2015 from 2–8 November 2015. Ever since its beginning in 2007, India Week has witnessed increasing participation
and interest from organisers and visitors alike.
Pivotal Role in Bilateral Relations
Hamburg has played a pivotal role in promotion of Indian-German relations. Be it the age-old maritime links or exchanges during India’s freedom struggle or Indology studies or the representative office in Mumbai, the city has been in the forefront ofthe evolving bilateral spectrum. The Indian Government has laid emphasis on strengthening co-operation with Germany in sectors like infrastructure including port and aviation, renewable energy, vocational training, S&T etc., all of which Hamburg has core competence in. Hamburg based companies can also benefit from the Make in India initiative which encourages foreign companies to manufacture their products in India.
At the official opening of the India Week Hamburg at city hall on 2 November, the First Mayor Olaf Scholz emphasised the similarities between India and Hamburg in the pursuit of progress and improvement. The Indian ambassador to Germany, Vijay Gokhale, recalled in his speech the numerous collaborations between Hamburg and India. The unifying elements of variety were also topics of the address by the renowned Indian psychoanalyst and author, Sudhir Kakar. The surprise guest of the evening was the Indian drama queen Sharmila Tagore, who walk on stage for a brief interview with the presenter and NDR journalist, Julia Niharika Sen. Indian and European musical interpretations of poems by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore rounded off the evening.
The versatile cultural programme of the India Week Hamburg ranged from joint work projects by Hamburg and Indian artists and photo exhibitions, contemporary dance at Kampnagel, classical Indian dance at the church of St. Peter to rare classics and popular blockbusters screened at Metropolis Cinema. Current social issues such as the role of women in India were the subject of artistic performances or discussions with the audience.
Live Talks With India Even the economic programme was varied, with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce launching the bilateral business presentations with an evening dedicated to the Indian consumer landscape. Company representatives and interested visitors were invited to gather information in many areas, such as taxation and investment policies, or innovation, maritime infrastructureand medical equipment. In addition, there was the opportunity to talk lto representatives of Indian start-up companies via VoIP.
The next India Week Hamburg will be hosted in two years, i.e. in the autumn of 2017.
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