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Sansad TV: Perspective- German Chancellor in India

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Introduction:

India has been pressing for resolving the Ukraine conflict through diplomacy and dialogue and it is ready to contribute to any peace process. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this after holding wide-ranging talks with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The German Chancellor was on a two-day visit to India. Prior to meeting PM Modi, he was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. This is his first visit to India since taking over as German Chancellor in 2021. During talks with the Prime Minister, the German Chancellor called the Russia-Ukraine war a major catastrophe, expressing hope that the G20 under India’s presidency will address the global implications of the war that has now entered its second year. On the bilateral front, extensive discussions took place on important issues of mutual interest.

Present German stand on India:

  • The German government’s coalition agreement in 2021 refers to relations with India among its top foreign policy priorities.
  • German Foreign Minister visit to India in December 2022
  • 6th India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations(a biannual format of engagement that commenced in 2011
  • Expand cooperation in:
    • defense
    • trade
    • clean energy
    • migration
    • digital transformation
    • Indo-Pacific

 Economic relations:

  • Bilateral relations between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles and are marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect.
  • Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the EU.
  • Since India embarked on a course of reform and opened up its economy in 1991, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased rapidly.
  • There is strong Indian demand for German goods, especially capital goods (machinery,electrical engineering products, metal goods, chemical products, motor vehicles and vehicle parts).
  • Indian exports to Germany focus on the textile sector, followed by chemical products, electrical engineering products, metal and leather goods and foodstuffs.
  • There is a discussion in Germany’s parliament to expand their relations in Asia and not limit to China.

Direct investment

  • For decades, Germany has been among the ten principal foreign direct investors in India.
  • Investments have focused on the transport, electrical and metal sectors.
  • Over the past years, the service sector (in particular insurance) has headed the field

Development cooperation

  • Germany’s development cooperation with India is a major component of bilateral relations.
  • India has the largest number of people worldwide living in absolute poverty.
  • Germany is the second largest bilateral donor, after Japan, and uses nearly all the instruments available in implementing its development cooperation policy. Bilateral development cooperation focuses on the following areas:
    • Energy: energy efficiency, renewables and access to energy to reduce poverty
    • Supports the economic participation of women and the setting up of a practice-oriented (dual) vocational training system and provides stimulus for innovative approaches, e.g. in social policy or promoting start-ups.

Education and culture

  • Around 20,000 Indian students are pursuing various courses in Germany.
  • Around 1000 German students are studying or doing internships in India.
  • At the intergovernmental consultations in October 2015, a joint declaration of intent was signed to promote the teaching of German as a foreign language in India and instruction in modern Indian languages in Germany.

Science and technology

  • Scientific and technological cooperation with India goes back to the late 1950s.
  • The countries enjoy long-established and intensive scientific cooperation in many different fields.
  • Together with India, Germany supports a bilateral research promotion centre – a unique model for Germany.
  • Germany is India’s second most important research partner worldwide, after the United States.

Environment

  • India faces huge challenges in terms of urban and industrial environmental protection.
  • The fight against air pollution, water protection, long-term, sustainable soil conservation, noise reduction and biodiversity preservation are crucial to safeguarding health and quality of life in the country.
  • India and Germany are working together bilaterally and in international organisations to achieve internationally agreed environmental goals and to learn from one another.

Commonalities between the two Countries:

  • Both share common values and constitutional principles, and our relationship has always been based on great mutual respect and understanding.
  • Today, India is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies, and Germany is the biggest economy in Europe.
  • India is Germany’s biggest development partner with a proven track record of success.
  • Now, the areas of focus are renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban development, environment protection and resource management.

Way Forward:

  • Germany is looking for skilled manpower from outside and India should take advantage of it.
  • India and Germany cooperate in multilateral forums, as part of the G-4 group pushing for United Nations Security Council reform, and as evident in Germany’s invitation to PM to attend last year’s G-7 summit.
  • We need to work towards further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two nations.
  • Both countries must work as equal partners to tackle global development challenges.
  • Germany has technological capacity to cater to the needs of the huge Indian market.
  • Germany must continue to create innovative solutions with India for the future, for the benefit of both of our societies and the world at large.