Merkel visit to cement economic ties

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2007, 05:45am hrs
India and Germany giving fresh impetus to their strategic partnership will sign several agreements for strengthening co-operation in the areas including economic ties, defence, science & technology and intellectual property rights.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived here on Monday night on her maiden India visit, will hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, regional and global issues including UN reforms, climate change, energy security and co-operation in the Doha Round of trade negotiations.

According to official spokesman of the external affairs ministry, defence co-operation between the two countries is growing and political co-operation has grown very significantly.

"We have adopted strategic dimension to the Indo-German partnership which cannot be complete without political partnership," he said. Promoting peace and security in the violence-torn Afghanistan will also be an area of discussion between the two leaders.

More business and technological co-operation will be the defining theme of Merkel's four-day state visit. German education and research minister Annette Schavan and around 30 top business representatives of big companies like Airbus, Siemens, rail operator Deutsche Bahn and reinsurer Munich Re are accompanying Merkel.

With the stalling of the India-US civil nuclear deal due to the compulsions of coalition politics in India, the nuclear issue is not likely to figure prominently during bilateral talks.