Vienna, Jul 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited Austrian businesses to become part of India's stellar growth story by leveraging high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing under the 'Make in India' programme for domestic and international markets.

In his joint address to industry leaders, along with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Modi specifically mentioned India's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to attract global manufacturing companies in the fields of semiconductors, medical devices, and solar PV cells, among others.

He called on the Austrian business stakeholders to look at the fast-unfolding opportunities in India as the country moves to become the third largest economy in the world over the next few years, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Prime Minister Modi arrived here from Moscow after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit, the first by an Indian prime minister in over 40 years.

In a post on social media platform X, Modi said: "Met business leaders from India and Austria. Our nations are confident of leveraging the many opportunities ahead to boost commercial and trade linkages".

Austrian Chancellor Nehammer, in a post on X, said that in the areas of science and research, the two nations are very close to concluding an important cooperation agreement between Austrian and Indian technical universities.

"This agreement as well as further partnerships will considerably enhance our cooperation in the fields of pharmaceuticals, education, technology, digital infrastructure and space technology. Austria brings considerable expertise, Know-how and innovative power in this area to the table," he said.

Both leaders acknowledged the role played by the industry leaders in strengthening bilateral relations and promoting economic cooperation between India and Austria, the ministry said in the statement.

They noted that trade and investment between the two countries has been increasing over the years and called for realising the full potential of the India-Austria partnership through greater collaboration.

Given India's strengths, Modi urged Austrian majors to leverage the Indian economic landscape for high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing under the 'Make in India' programme for domestic and international markets and as a global supply chain destination, MEA said.

In this context, the prime minister spoke about India's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to attract global manufacturing companies in the fields of semiconductors, medical devices, and solar PV cells, among others.

Modi noted that India's economic strengths and skills and Austrian technology were natural partners for business growth and sustainability, the official statement said.

"He (Modi) invited Austrian businesses to utilise the investment opportunities in India and be a part of India's stellar growth story," MEA said.

In his address, the prime minister said India has made transformative progress in the last 10 years and would continue on the same path, given its strengths of political stability, policy predictability and its reform-oriented economic agenda.

He emphasised the steps taken by the government to improve the ease of doing business, which attracted global majors to India.

Talking about Indian economic growth and transformation, Modi highlighted India's success in the field of startups, the creation of next-generation infrastructure, and its commitment to forge ahead on the green agenda.

He also mentioned that the startup bridge set up between India and Austria would yield substantial results.

In this regard, Modi suggested that the two countries should come together and organise a joint hackathon. He further spoke about the success of Digital Public Infrastructure in the country and measures taken to improve connectivity and logistics.

To foster innovation and entrepreneurship between the countries, the IndiaAustria Startup Bridge was launched in February 2024.

Indo-Austria bilateral trade for 2023 (January-December) was USD 2.93 billion. Indian exports to Austria stood at USD 1.52 billion and imports were USD 1.41 billion. PTI