November 5, 2019
With bilateral trade touching US$24.1 billion in 2018-19, Germany is currently India’s strongest trading partner in Europe
Germany is the seventh-largest foreign investor in India with US$11.9 billion of investments from April 2000 to June 2019
Currently, there are more than 1,600 Indo-German collaborations and over 600 Indo-German joint ventures in operation
There are over 20,800 Indian students across German universities, along with a growing number of German students in India
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India from October 31 to November 1, 2019, to attend the fifth edition of bilateral Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC). The visit, which followed an invitation from Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, further cemented Indian-Germany ties. On the trip, Chancellor Merkel was accompanied by the German Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Science and Education, Food and Agriculture, along with an official delegation. Additionally, a business delegation comprising leaders of German companies accompanied Chancellor Merkel. During the visit, Chancellor Merkel held meetings with President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi, among others. Bilateral ties between the nations date back to 1958, and initially focused largely on industrial growth, poverty reduction and rural development. Today, the major thrust areas of German expertise in India are energy, environment, and sustainable development.
The IGCs, which started in 2011 in New Delhi and are held biennially, have become occasions to sign important development cooperation agreements. In 2013, at the second IGC in Berlin, 10 agreements were signed related to the fields of vocational education and skill training, railways, science and technology, and renewable energy. In 2015, Chancellor Merkel had visited New Delhi for the third IGC that saw both countries emphasize their commitment towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), renewable energy and climate-friendly urban development. In 2017, during the 4th IGC in Berlin, 12 agreements were signed. Now the most recent one comes on the heels of the 60th anniversary of their development partnership in 2018.
During the latest trip, key issues of discussion between the German Chancellor and PM Modi include:
The relationship between the two countries is supported by all-round cooperation. After World War II, India was one of the first countries to recognize the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). And in 1951, FRG established its consulate in Bombay, followed by its Embassy in New Delhi in 1952 with the Indo-German Chamber coming up in 1956. From Rourkela steel plant and IIT Madras set up with FRG collaboration in 1959 to the current collaborations across new and advanced technology, e-mobility, smart cities, inland waterways, and environmental protection, India-Germany relations have only gained strength with time and looks to get even stronger in the future.