Clement, who arrived on Monday, will attend the 15th session of the Indo-German Joint Commission on Economic and Industrial Cooperation.

He is accompanied by a large delegation of German corporate leaders.

He was also to meet Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

The joint commission deals with bilateral economic relations, focusing on trade balance, trade promotion, investment issues, technological collaborations and policy issues.

"The Indo-German Joint Commission has assumed importance for the Indian government in view of the falling German investment in India in recent years," a statement from India's Finance Ministry said.

"These investments have averaged $125 million annually in the last 10 years, which is relatively insignificant when compared with the overseas investments made by Germany in other countries and taking into account India's true potential."

Enormous scope

Indian officials said there was scope for German investment in
areas such as information technology, biotechnology, telecommunications, small and medium enterprises and infrastructure development.

"Singapore has
been a very steady partner. Malaysians seems to have discovered India now. I think it's important that Germany does not miss the opportunity"

P Chidambaram,
Indian Finance Minister

"We regard Germany as the leading economy in Europe and therefore it is to our advantage that we constantly review these relations and strengthen them," Minister Chidambaram said.

He said India would convey to Germany the "enormous opportunities" for investment in sectors such a ports, airports, roads and construction.

Asked whether German companies were missing out on an opportunity in the Indian market, he said: "I'm afraid they are. In recent years no one has taken advantage more than the Koreans and the Japanese.

"Singapore has been a very steady partner. Malaysians seems to have discovered India now. I think it's important that Germany does not miss the opportunity."