Merkel to visit India from October 4-6, many deals expected

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) India and Germany will hold discussions on a range of issues including security, economy and clean energy during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s October 4-6 visit to the country, and “substantial agreements” and “path-breaking results” are expected during the talks.

Talking to media persons here, German Ambassador Martin Ney said India-Germany relations have been on a steady upswing.

It will be the fourth meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Merkel in less than 11 months and their third since April this year.

Modi and Merkel will hold discussions on many issues of mutual interest and also exchange views on regional and global issues of common concern.

Ney said the agreements between the two countries will cover all key areas of India’s development agenda, including Make in India, Skill India, Clean Ganga, Clean India and Smart Cities.

“Germany has already been part of all of these programmes. From now on, we will invest even more in our partnership,” he said.

India’s external affairs ministry issued a statement saying the German chancellor will be in India for the third Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between the two countries.

Merkel will be accompanied by a large delegation including six cabinet ministers and high-profile business leaders.

The IGC is a unique summit-level dialogue with cabinet participation of both governments.

The visiting German ministers will have bilateral meetings with their Indian counterparts.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeir and will also call on Merkel.

“The bilateral meetings will be followed by plenary session — the core format of consultations. You could consider this a joint cabinet meeting of our two governments,” Ney said.

The third IGC will seek to build on Modi’s visit to Germany in April to participate in Hannover Messe where India was the partner country.

The earlier two IGCs were held in 2011 and 2013.

Ney said bilateral relations have been on a steady upswing since taking up this format of cooperation. “In some regards, you could even say on a steep upswing.”

He said the “deliverables” will cover areas of security, economy, development cooperation, clean energy, climate, infrastructure, urban mobility, innovation, higher education, skills development, culture and food security.

“Four days ahead of the big event, we are full of excitement and anticipation. I do not promise too much if I say that we can expect path breaking results, the signing of very substantial agreements,” he said.

Merkel will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 5. She will embark to Bengaluru the same day on the second leg of her visit.

In Bengaluru, Merkel and Modi will participate in a business event hosted by NASSCOM on Industry 4.0 and also visit the innovation and skilling centres at German company Bosch.

India and Germany are strategic partners since 2001. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union and the seventh largest foreign investor in India.

The external affairs ministry release said Germany’s acknowledged competence in areas such as manufacturing, skilling, high technology, clean energy, water and waste management provides a robust foundation for enhanced partnerships in a range of priority areas.

“This visit would be an opportunity to consolidate stronger strategic, political and economic partnership,” it said.

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