Sansad TV Perspective: India - Germany Relations

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic: India – Germany Relations

Anchor: Teena Jha

Participants:

  1. Gurjit Singh, Former Ambassador
  2. Alok Bansal, Director, India Foundation
  3. Prof. Rajendra Harshe, Former VC, Allahabad University

Context: The bilateral cooperation between India and Germany is all set to be strengthened further with the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Germany. 

Overview of the Visit:

  • The Prime Minister’s visit to Germany entailed discussions on key areas of development and strategic partnership. 
  • A ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin was offered to the Prime Minister of India. 
  • The Indian Prime Minister was accorded the Guard of Honour. 
  • The leaders of both nations indulged in a one-on-one format discussion followed by delegation-level talks.
  • Germany has been the first leg of Prime Minister Modi’s three-nation Europe trip
  • The German chancellor and the Indian Prime Minister will co-chair the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC). 
    • IGC is a unique biennial format which India conducts only with Germany.
    • This consultation programme facilitates the identification of priority areas for the bilateral partners for the medium and long terms. 
  • India and Germany commemorated 70 years of diplomatic relations in 2021 and their strategic partnership started in the year 2000. 

Points of Significance of the Visit:

The visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Berlin was witnessed in the midst of changing dynamics of geopolitics characterised by the Russia-Ukraine ConflictThe visit gathers essence due to the following reasons:

  • The Indo-Pacific:
    • Germany has shown enthusiasm for its more intense engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. 
    • This becomes crucial to embolden India’s maritime interests amidst China’s aggression. 
    • There lie multiple scopes for a maritime collaboration between India and Germany. 
  • Trade:
    • Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Germany will focus on trade relations and take effective steps to expand the trade partnership. 
    • Germany has been India’s largest trading partner in Europe with a bilateral trade of over $21 billion. 
    • The visit intended to deepen the Indo-German trade ties further.
    • Both the countries have agreed to reform the WTO with a shared vision to strengthen its principles and functions as well as preserve the autonomy of the two-tier appellate body of the global trade organisation. 
    • Both the countries expressed their willingness to encourage the negotiations on Free Trade Agreements (FTA), Investment Protection Agreement and Agreement of Geographical Indications. 
  • Strategic Partnership:
    • The long-standing commercial relationship between India and Germany constitutes one of the pillars of the strategic partnership.
    • There were discussions to take the strategic partnership forward with the objective of energising the industries through industrial cooperation with an emphasis on post-pandemic economic recovery. 
  • Diaspora Factor:
    • Germany is home to over 2,00,000 Indians that act as an important anchor in India’s relations with Europe. 
    • A strong diaspora will play a pivotal role in the progress of diplomatic ties through people to people contact. 
  • Ukraine:
    • This visit had also provided a significant platform for India to convey its diplomatic balance with regard to the Russia-Ukraine conflict as Berlin strongly opposed Russia for its action. 
    • Germany is at present the President of the G7 and it is inevitable that India will be invited to the upcoming G7 summit. It will be interesting to anticipate India’s stance regarding Russia-Ukraine during the summit. 

The discontent:

  • Despite the fact that India shares a pleasant and friendly relationship with Germany, both the countries share a difference of opinion when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • Germany has been a strong supporter of the US-led punishment of Russia and India has remained far more neutral, refusing to voice against Russia due to its national interests. 
  • Besides, Germany has asserted to reduce its energy dependence on Russia within a stipulated time and switch to alternative suppliers of energy.
  • As India is heavily dependent on Russia for defence purchases, the diversification of defence purchases away from Russia will be a time taking process. 

List of Agreements signed on the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations:

  • Green and Sustainable Development Partnership
  • Implementation of Triangular Development Cooperation projects 
  • Establishment of an agreement on the exchange and mutual protection of classified information and on the establishment of an agreement to create a direct encrypted connection between the Ministry of External Affairs, GoI and the German Foreign Office
  • Indo-German Development Cooperation Regarding Renewable Energy Partnership
  • Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership
  • Cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate executives and junior executives from India
  • Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force
  • Joint Declaration on the Initiation (JDI) on Agroecology
  • JDI on Forest Landscape Restoration

Stepping Ahead:

  • The visit by the Prime Minister of India to Berlin has ignited a significant spark of deepening collaboration between the bilateral partners. 
  • With the signing of multiple agreements during the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations, there is a possibility that Germany can soon be one of the top trading partners of India. 
  • There are numerous avenues that the respective governments can benefit from as leading democracies. For instance, the shared values of liberal thought, ingenuity, promotion of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and social inclusivity along with culture and history can act as binding factors for both India and Germany. 
  • Germany’s extensive dependence on China in terms of trade has culminated in an emerging demand of reducing such dependence in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This can be an opportunity for India to broaden its trade with Germany and engage in diverse spheres of collaboration. 
  • Greater economic cooperation between India and Germany is anticipated and recommended. 
  • To boost the economy in the upcoming days of the post-pandemic period with a roadmap of resilience for future challenges, both the countries can open up new revenue streams of economic partnership that will result in the introduction of more job opportunities adding to the growth story. 

Explore more about India-Germany Relations in the linked article.

Sansad TV Perspective: India – Germany Relations:- Download PDF Here

Related Links
Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative COP 26
National Hydrogen Energy Mission NATO
Paris Agreement European Union

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