- For any two countries common democratic principles embedded with trust and mutual respect lays the foundation of bilateral relation between them. After the Second World War, India has been able to establish ambassadorial relation with the Federal Republic of Germany. Gradually, after the ceasing of cold war this relation grew significantly both economically & politically between India and Germany.
- With the Intergovernmental consultations (IGC) at the head level between both the governments has provided ample space for cooperation and generation of new areas to enhance the Strategic Partnership since 2001. The strategic partnership has strengthened with time. The dialogue mechanism between two countries has led them to consider 12 cooperation documents signed in the 4th IGC held at Berlin in 2017.
- The Chancellor Markel has visited India thrice in last ten years-in 2007, 2011 and in October 2015.There have been regular visits from both sides in past years. President Joachim Gauck has also visited India in February 2014. Also being partner country at the Hannover Messe-2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Germany in April 2015. During 2017, PM Modi visited Germany twice: the first was a bilateral visit on May 29-30, 2017 to Berlin for the 4thIGC and followed by a visit on July 6-8, 2017 to Hamburg to attend the G20 Summit. External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj visited Germany in August 2015.
- Ministerial Visits: Bilateral exchanges at Ministerial level take place regularly. Recent visits to Germany include Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in January 2017 for the ‘Global Forum for Food and Agriculture’ (GFFA), Shri M.J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs in February 2017 to attend the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bonn, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics & Information Technology in April 2017 to attend G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting in Dusseldorf, Shri J.P. Nadda Minister of Health & Family Welfare in May, 2017 to attend the G-20 Health Ministers Meeting in Berlin,Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries, on August 21-22, 2017 to promote the World Food India 2017, and again on October 7-11, 2017 to attend the ANUGA Fair in Cologne, wherein India was the Partner Country, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change on November 4-7,2017 for inauguration of the Indian Pavilion and related programs and again November 14-18, 2017 for participating in the high level segment of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-23) in Bonn and Shri Choudhary Birender Singh, Union Minister of Steel on November 28 to December 02, 2017 to Berlin to attend Plenary Session of the G20 Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC) 2017. From the German side, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Mueller visited Delhi on 5th April 2017.
- Both Germany and India prefers to consult each other on all related global issues like climate change, sustainable development etc. other issues of regional and international level are also discussed like UN issue, International Cyber issue, Disarmament & proliferation , Eurasia, Export control, East asia etc. Both countries co-operate each other on UNSC expansion issue within the limits of G-4.
- Economic & Commercial Relations: Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. India was ranked 24thin Germany’s global trade during 2016. Bilateral trade in 2016 was valued at €17.42 billion. Apart from traditional sectors, knowledge-driven sectors hold good potential for collaboration.
- Germany is the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India since January 2000. German FDI in India in 2016 was to the tune of US$ 1.1 billion. Germany’s total FDI in India from April 2000 until December 2017 amounted to US$ 10.71 billion. There are more than 1600 Indo-German collaborations and over 600 Indo-German Joint Ventures in operation. A Fast-Track System for German companies has been set up in DIPP, as agreed between the two sides at the 3rd IGC. The Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) Programme was launched by the Embassy of India, Berlin in September 2015. It aims at facilitating the entry of German Mittelstand (MSMEs) into India. Currently 109 German Mittelstand (MSMEs) companies are being facilitated through MIIM Programme for their market entry and Investment in India. Out of these, 67 companies have progressed well with their India investment plans.
- Culture:India and Germany have a long tradition of academic and cultural exchange. Max Mueller was the first scholar of Indo-European languages who translated and published Upanishads and Rigveda. There has been growing interest in Germany in Indian dance, music and literature as well as motion picture and TV industry, in particular Bollywood. Indian films and artists regularly feature at the Berlin International Film Festival and at other festivals all over Germany. Indian cuisine is very popular in Germany. The Indo-German Society is engaged in promoting inter-cultural understanding by bringing together people of both countries and conveying information about modern India to the German public. Chancellor Merkel handed over the stolen Statue of Durga-Mahishasurmardini to PM Modi at the 3rd IGC as a goodwill gesture. German interest in the Indian philosophy and languages resulted in the first Chair of Indology at the University of Bonn in 1818. The Government of India has funded several rotating chairs of Indian studies in German Universities. There have been 31 Short-term rotating chairs in various German universities till date.
- Indians in Germany: One of the major academic exchange services of Germany is DAAD that facilitates students join research, training and exchange of research scholars/young scientist. UGC in India and DAAD have partnered to provide Higher education to youth/research scholars of both countries. More than 15000 Indian students are pursuing education in Germany and around 800 German students are enrolled in for courses/internship in India. Another initiative by India-GIAN has also been acknowledged by German academia. So far around 80 academicians have been selected for teaching in higher educational institutes of India. Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha is supporting research in Ayurveda at Charite Medical University, Berlin on Osteoarthritis of the knee, which is the first systematic clinical trial for use of Ayurveda in Europe.
- The strategic partnership between both the countries has led to gradual increase in population of India origin in Germany. As ( 2017 figures there are 1,69,000 Indians in Germany). The Indians in Germany consist of professionals, businessmen/traders, technocrats and nurses. In last few years large number of professional from IT, banking and banking sectors have come up to explore Germany. A large number of associations and organization at business and cultural fronts are helping in building stronger ties between two countries at people-to-people level,
by Mrs. Meenakshi Sharma