Fast-Track Wing Activated To Boost Trade

  • Germany welcomed India’s decision to set up a fast-track system for German companies in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.The only other such country –specific mechanism is for Japan, which was announced last year.
  • The wing, which will become fully operational by 2016, found prompt appreciation from the visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said: “I was very glad we were able to sign the fast-track agreement today so that the speed with which you provide licences to companies to set up business is increased.”
  • The exclusive special window for Germany will be the second since a similar wing was created for Japan after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in September 2014.
  • Declaring this special wing at the end of the Inter-Governmental Consultations, the trade-heavy joint statement repeatedly drew attention to the business ties between the two countries.
  • The fast-track mechanism was one of the several initiatives declared to smoothen business ties. To encourage stronger business ethics, both sides entered into an agreement to train corporate executives and junior executives.
  • Several such smoothening measures in the joint statement and the list of agreements have produced the impression that the Germans are anxious about India delivering on the promise of growth and development under Mr. Modi.
  • “Though top German investors expected affairs of business to change under Mr. Modi, they are disappointed that the same has not happened so far,” she told.
  • Highlighting the sticking point between two sides, Mr. Jaishankar pointed out that Mr. Modi “requested Chancellor Merkel that the restrictions placed on 700 Indian pharma products be revised.”
  • The issue of restrictions on the marketing of generic medicines has been snowballing over the last year since the EU drug regulator, European Medicines Agency (EMA), recommended suspension of the sale of the drugs manufactured by GVK Biosciences, citing manipulated lab test results.

A tie-up for clean energy

  • Three days after India declared its pledge to expand the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 40 per cent by 2030, India and Germany formed the Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance, with the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in India.
  • The two countries agreed on the India Germany Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance — a comprehensive partnership to harness technology, innovation and finance in order to make affordable, clean and renewable energy accessible to all and to foster climate change mitigation efforts in both countries with a long-term vision and a comprehensive agenda of combating climate change.
  • Germany has committed to providing an assistance of over 1 billion Euros for India’s Green Energy Corridor and a new assistance package of over 1 billion Euros for solar projects in India. The partner country also intends to deepen research cooperation in clean and renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
  • Pushkal Upadhyay, Director, National Mission for Clean Ganga, told that India will receive technical assistance of 3 million Euros for developing the Ganga region, focussing on wastewater treatment, preparation of Detailed Project Report and technical assistance to be provided by German international development firm GIZ.
  • Another 120 million Euros worth of bilateral aid will focus on developing the Clean Ganga project in Uttarakhand, and priority tasks are being discussed, he said.