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A Defining Moment for Indo-German Ties

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Berlin for the sixth Indo-German Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) is significant for its timing and substantial results.

Relevance

GS-II: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

Dimensions of the Article

  • Strategic and economic importance of India-German ties
  • Opportunities for India
  • Way Forward

Strategic and economic importance of India-German ties

  • The timing of the IGC, which Germany chose not to delay, showed outreach to India and the Indo-Pacific.
  • Impact of pandemic on economy: The pandemic hit German economy and sanctions on Russia will further dent its prospects.
  • The country requires new markets for trade and investment.
  • India is an important partner in this regard due to its sustained economic growth and market size.
  • Ukraine crisis: The Ukraine crisis created an urgency to engage with India as part of Germany’s fledgling Indo-Pacific policy.

Opportunities for India

  • As Germany does the reassessment of China’s role in world affairs it creates an opportunity for India.
  • The Bundestag will discuss the situation of Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang on May 7.
  • Any departures from China will bring business engagement to India.
  • Germany and India do not have a traditional strategic partnership.
  • It is a green partnership based on trade, investment, technology, functional collaboration, skill development, and sustainability.
  • There are several initiatives like the Indo-German energy forum, environmental forum, partnership on urban mobility, skill development and science and technology.
  • The biggest gain from the IGC has been the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) establishing the Green and Sustainable Development Partnership.
  • This will raise the quality and quantum of the existing partnership between the two countries.
  • Germany is reaching out with new and additional financing of €10 billion to fund green projects in India under public, private and PPP models.
  • To support this, a ministerial segment is being introduced under the IGC.
  • The IGC is the only such format that India has with any country.
  • Another significant development is the JDI on Triangular Development Cooperation for projects in third countries.
  • This will provide avenues to work together in the Indo-Pacific, Africa and beyond.
  • The Indo-German Education Partnership, which the German Bundestag passed in 2016 as a New Passage to India, has borne fruit — from about 4,000 students in 2015, there are nearly 29,000 Indian students in Germany.
  • The Indo-German Science and Technology Centre has made valuable contributions.
  • Now, under the energy partnership, the Green Hydrogen Task Force will develop a Green Hydrogen Roadmap.
  • This will attempt to take R&D to the level of commercialization.
  • The JDI on migration and mobility is an important step taken during this IGC.

Way Forward

A new period is reflecting new priorities in view of crises like the pandemic, the economic downturn and now, Ukraine. The German response to India as evidenced through the IGC has been promising. Both sides may justifiably call it a defining moment in the Indo-German partnership.

Source – The Indian Express

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August 2022
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