Indian startups may soon get easier access to the German market and investments thanks to an agreement the government is planning to sign with the country for a startup exchange programme. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her recent visit to Germany alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussed with the country’s economic affairs minister Brigitte Zypries opportunities for collaboration to share knowledge and best practices in the startup ecosystem.
“There are synergies between India’s and Germany’s startup ecosystems since both countries have a similar set of sectors investing in new ventures,” a senior government official said.
A formal agreement between the two countries is being worked upon and is likely to be signed soon, the official said on condition of anonymity. The agreement will be signed between Startup India and the German Startups Association, which has about 650 startups and 50 partners, including corporate entities and venture capital firms, and coordinates with the United States, China, India and Israel. Meanwhile, three German startups working in renewable energy sector have sought support from Sitharaman for entering India and working with the government’s Startup India initiative to explore business opportunities in the country.
India is exploring other such international tie-ups as well to promote domestic startups and provide them with a global platform, officials said. Under the latest amended patent rules, startups from across the world can register patents in India faster and at much lower costs under a ‘tatkal (instant)’ option being offered now.
These benefits will also be available to entities that file their first applications in India. Under the Startup India programme, launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government had announced a host of incentives to companies including tax breaks and easier access to finance. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has recognised 1,006 of the total applications received by the government as part of Startup India and the inter-ministerial board has approved 23 for extending tax benefits.
Startups in India are eligible for income tax exemption for three years in a block of seven years if they are incorporated after April 1, 2016. Besides, the government has created a fund of funds with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore to be released till 2025 for investments in startups.
Managed by Small Industries Development Bank of India, the fund has so far committed Rs 623 crore to 17 alternate investment funds. DIPP has sought additional Rs 1,600 crore for the fund from the finance ministry.
Read More: Economic Times