Expanding of trade and bilateral relations will top the agenda of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will visit India on Sunday on a three-day visit for the Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations.
Apart from expanding bilateral trade cooperation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Merkel are expected to discuss the stalled India-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations and ways to take it forward, on Monday. A number of pacts are expected to be inked during her stay in the country.
Both countries are keen to enhance their bilateral commercial ties with a focus on ‘Make in India’ programme. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade in 2014 valued at 15.96 billion euros.
Modi and Merkel would be meeting within six months after the two met during the joint inauguration of the Hannover Fair, where India was the partner country.
Listing some of the areas of possible cooperation,
Dr Martin Ney is Germany’s Ambassador to India, said that Germany’s vocal training system is world-renowned and it can help in the government’s ‘Skill India’ programme.
Germany can also help in the field of environmental technology, he said noting it has cleaned up heavily polluted rivers like the Rhine and Elbe and is ready to help India clean up the rivers Ganga and Yamuna.
Besides business, the third Indo-German inter-governmental consultations will focus on development of solar power and renewable energy on which Germany is betting big — having decided to phase out nuclear power. The ministry for development and co-operation has already sanctioned 1 billion Euros for the project with an emphasis on development of solar power on roof tops in cities in India, besides a scheme on energy transmission from renewable sources. The Clean Ganga project is also being seen as an opportunity and the government is working with Indian partners with German experts having already done a study on this last year
The two leaders will also share the dias in Bengaluru as part of the Nasscom programme on October 6. Besides addressing 44 German firms which have established research and development centres in India, Merkel will also address Indian IT firms.