India, Germany ink 18 MoUs

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New Delhi | October 6, 2015 1:09 AM

According to Angela Merkel, the inking of so many agreements is a ‘testimony to the dynamic relations’

India and Germany on Monday inked 18 MoUs, including one for setting up a fast-track system for German companies in India.

At the end of talks between PM Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel, the two countries signed pacts worth 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion) on German investment in developing India’s clean energy sector and solar energy industry, ahead of crucial UN climate change talks later this year. The MoUs signed include those for security cooperation and promotion of German as a foreign language in India as well as for the promotion of modern Indian languages in Germany. Also, Germany agreed to share with India some of the vocational education expertise that has turned it into an engineering giant, with skilled workers crucial for Modi’s “Make in India” campaign.

Modi, in his speech, termed the bilateral mechanism of intergovernmental consultations as unique, saying it had helped bring growth in relations. “We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India’s economic transformation. German strengths and India’s priorities are aligned. And so is mutual goodwill,” he said. He added that both sides have convergence of views and rapidly growing cooperation in the field of clean energy and combating climate change.

“Energy cooperation is very much in the foreground, particularly exploring and developing rural areas is very much on our agenda,” Merkel said in her statement.

India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to generate 40 % of electricity from renewable sources within 15 years as part of its action plan for the upcoming talks in Paris. Both countries agreed on the India-Germany Climate and Renewable Alliance for combating climate change, Modi said, and thanked Germany for its over 1 billion euros in aid each for India’s Green Energy Corridor project and for solar projects in India. “We look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 (conference of parties) in Paris,” Modi said.

He said both sides will see a boost in partnership in areas of defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism.

According to Merkel, the inking of so many agreements is a “testimony to the dynamic relations”. She said over 1,500 German companies are in India and more would be glad to open up. She commended the inking of the fasttrack agreement on German companies. “The speed at which you grant licences has increased, which is a good thing,” she said. The visiting leader offered Germany’s help in the area of sustainable development in the villages.

India and Germany are strategic partners since 2001. The overall exchange of goods and services between the countries was valued at around around 15.96 billion euros last year, a drop of 1.14 billion euros from 2013.

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