Germany President Visit to India: What India can expect?

Germany is an important ally and the largest Trader with India in Europe valued at €17.42 billion bilaterally. They are also the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India since January 2000. Germany’s total FDI in India from April 2000 until September 2017 amounted to US$ 10.63 billion. There are more than 1600 Indo-German collaborations and over 600 Indo-German Joint Ventures in operation. In Germany, there are more than 200 Indian companies and there are about 1,69,000 people of Indian origin (2017 figures)

In this regard the visit of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in India is important. He will be India for a five-day state visit from March 22 to 25. This will be his first visit to India as the President of Germany after the Angela Merkel government took charge in Berlin on March 14.

He will be meeting President Ram Nath Kovind,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. President Steinmeier will also hold talks with representatives of Indian civil society, science and industry. He is accompanied by a CEO delegation, Indologists and a media delegation.

During his trip to India, President Steinmeier will visit the Museum in Sarnath and a Buddhist temple in Varanasi at the start of his trip. He will interact with students of Banaras Hindu University and participate in the Ganga ‘arti’. He will deliver a speech on “India and Germany — Ideas and Perspectives” at Delhi University and also visit Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology to learn about results of top Indian research. While in Delhi the President will also visit the Jama Masjid. Later the President will fly to Chennai where German companies are invested largely. He will visit production and training site at Daimler India Commercial Vehicles and IIT Madras Research Park, an important starting point for modern German-Indian technological cooperation.

Why his visit is important to India is bilaterally India’s current priorities in most areas match with German expertise, such as renewable energy, skills development, Smart City, water and waste. Regionally Germany is an active dialogue partner in rebuilding Afghanistan and is working closely with India on counter-terrorism too. The recent US motion at the global watchdog FATF (Financial Action Task Force) plenary to greylist Pakistan for terror financing was co-sponsored by Germany with UK and France. Globally Migration issue rise of ISIS, Terrorism, Cyber Security, Protectionism can be focused.

Germany has also invested in the National Mission for Clean Ganga. In 2016, the German government committed 3 million euros for data management and capacity building to clean up the Ganges, India’s longest river. With more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is the second most populous nation in the world, and its economy is projected to grow by 7.4 percent this year, making the business opportunities for Germany.

Indian Government has opened the fast-track system for German companies to do business here by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Also in Germany, which has a shortage of skilled workers, stands to profit from Indian specialists especially IT experts or engineers, Technical People. As the German-Indian Chamber of Commerce is the largest such body in the world with some 6,000 German companies as members. And around 1,800 medium-sized German companies having productions in India exchange of Skilled Workers in Manufacturing to ICT to Medical and Nursing can drive mutual cooperation’s. Cooperation in the defence sector, counterterrorism, and promoting each other’s languages and importantly the India-European Union free trade deal or FTA with Mutual can drive the relationship more strong. As Prime Minister Modi Said Germany our natural partner  after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.”

However, the challenges lie in sustained anti-Asian sentiment, institutionalized discrimination against minority groups and xenophobic incidents against Indians in Germany. Stiff competition between foreign manufactured goods within the Indian market has seen machine-tools, automotive parts and medical supplies from German ceding. In Defence Sector to Germany big presence is absent though German major EADS worked with HAL. EADS has already supplied India’s military with air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles and helicopters but concrete growth like France or Israel or Russia have not taken place. For now, Germany and India are on Move to work each other as both are democratic and support globalization with mutual respect in this context the visit of Germany President is important to India.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

TS Chandrashekar

TS Chandrashekar is the Deputy Director of a state-funded trade organisation.

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