Title : INDIA-GERMANY RELATIONS
Date : Nov 30, 2021
Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 30th November 2021 on Page Number 8
Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper I & II)
- In 1951, India was one of the first countries to finish the war with Germany, and hence was one of the first to offer the Federal Republic of Germany diplomatic recognition.
- In 1951, Germany opened a Consulate General in Mumbai, which led to the opening of a full-fledged Embassy in New Delhi in 1952.
- Since 2000-01, India and Germany have had a "Strategic Partnership."
- The 'Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership in the Twenty-First Century,' which includes frequent meetings of both Heads of Government as well as annual meetings of Foreign Ministers, was adopted by both nations in May 2000.
Why is there a growing convergence between Germany and India:
- India is seen as a foundation of Asian stability and a country that shares European political principles by Germany (Equality, Liberty, Fraternity and Democratic values).
- Because of the following factors, Germany is trying to cope with deepening economic, political, and security challenges in its own backyard and around the world:
- In the United Kingdom, there is a Brexit movement.
- The United States and China are engaged in a trade war.
- Security policy in the United States are unpredictable.
- China's rapid economic expansion into Europe.
- The Sino-Russian political axis is becoming more forceful.
- Berlin is currently under pressure to assume more regional stability duties and to contribute more to the upkeep of the global order.
- In the midst of a great power conflict between the United States, China, and Russia, Germany is trying to broaden its global ties beyond the Euro-Atlantic and incorporate India into its wider geopolitical equation.
Recent Visit Highlights:
- Angela Merkel's recent visit to India exemplifies Europe's growing interest in collaborating with Delhi and its growing geopolitical importance. In the domains of space, civil aviation, maritime technology, medicine, education, agriculture, and artificial intelligence, the two countries inked agreements (AI).
- India has asked Germany to take advantage of defence prospects in the future defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- To combat terrorism and extremism, the countries pledged to collaborate on bilateral and international forums.
- Economically, India and Germany agreed to intensify efforts to restart stalled free trade negotiations between India and the European Union.
- Climate Change: Germany has decided to fund climate programmes aiming at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions financially.
- Germany has stated its willingness to give India with 1.1 billion dollars for green urban mobility.
- Position on International Issues: Germany pledged to continue working together to speed up UN Security Council reforms.
- The two countries also emphasised the importance of fully restoring the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism and reforming the organisation without jeopardising core principles such as Special and Differential Treatment.
Germany's Importance for India:
- Bilateral Trade: Germany is India's most important European trading partner. The textile industry dominates Indian exports to Germany, which are followed by chemical items, electrical engineering products, metal and leather goods, and foodstuffs.
- The involvement of Germany in resuming India-EU free trade talks, also known as the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), will be critical.
- Germany has also agreed to step up efforts to hasten the conclusion of an EU-India investment protection pact.
- Investment: German direct investment in India totaled roughly $11.4 billion in December 2018. However, due to the global economy, investment has slowed in 2019.
- In contrast, Indian enterprises' direct investment in Germany (estimated stock of FDI) has now reached 4.2 billion euros.
- Germany might be a hotspot for German companies looking to invest and participate in the 'Make in India' programme.
- Counter-terrorism: India and Germany have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to combating terrorism.
- Germany backs India's efforts to have the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism adopted.
- Germany has backed India's application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) (NSG).
- G4 Grouping: India, Germany, Brazil, and Japan are all members of G-4. The G4 countries have pledged to back each other's aspirations for permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
- Science and Technology: After the United States, Germany is India's second most important research partner in the world. The enormous number of cooperative Indo-German scientific papers reflects this.
- India has around 1000 postgraduate students in Germany, making it the second largest group of international PhD students behind the Chinese.
- Renewable Energy: Germany, despite having some of the lowest sunshine hours in the world, is one of the world's largest solar power producers.
- Germany has the potential to play a key role in the International Solar Alliance, which is led by India.
- Economic Liberalization: Germany and the European Union are wary of India's trade liberalisation initiatives.
- More liberal labour standards are a priority for Germany and the EU.
- Germany is concerned about the lockdown in Kashmir and the rights of minorities in India, and has begun to cast a shadow on India's "shared political ideals" (freedom and minorities' rights).
- Merkel's cautious public comment on the insufficiency of the existing situation in Kashmir is a timely reminder that India's allies will find it difficult to remain silent unless things improve quickly.
- Technical Trade Regulation Issues: India recently hailed significant gains in the ease of doing business, demonstrating its commitment to reduce bureaucratic roadblocks. Technical trade regulations, such as testing requirements, are, however, a significant burden for German businesses.
- Due to the uncertainties caused by US actions and the increasing aggressiveness of the Sino-Russian political axis, convergence of India and Germany will be a win-win situation for both nations in a multipolar international order.
- Germany will become a more influential actor in the European Union following Brexit.
- As a result, engaging Germany is about more than just India's bilateral relations with the country. It's all about partnering with the EU as a whole, which is led by Germany.
Tags : European Union, US, Germany