German minister meets Jaitley

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New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday and held discussions in the run-up to the 4th Indo-German inter-governmental consultations in Berlin at the end of May and the G20 Summit in July in Hamburg.

A German embassy release said that during the day-long visit, Muller also visited several projects by civil society organisations supported by the German government. This was the German Minister’s third visit to India since 2014.

The release said India and Germany cooperate closely in areas crucial to global development — particularly in the context of Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals) and G20.

It said Germany annually commits an average amount of 1 billion Euro (Rs 7,000 crore) to India. “Since last year sustainable urban development is a new focal area of Indo-German cooperation. In this regard Germany supports several Indian initiatives such as Smart Cities, Clean India and Clean Ganga.”

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The release said a Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic Indo-German partnership on Sustainable Urban Development is envisaged for this year’s intergovernmental consultations at end of May.

A major focus of this partnership shall be the development of climate-friendly urban mobility schemes.

Germany and India also cooperate in the field of agricultural innovation.

Ahead of the Minister’s visit, an agreement was signed between the Agriculture Ministry and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in India to develop ‘Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector’.

A cooperation agreement has also been signed between SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd) and GIZ India regarding German support for the setting-up of photovoltaic rooftops. SECI, the executing agency of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is tendering out the installation of more than 2.3 Gigawatt photovoltaic rooftops.

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