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  • 08 March, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Indo-German Relations

Indo-German Relations

  • Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, recently paid a bilateral visit to India.
  • It is Scholz's first trip to India after taking office as German Chancellor in December 2021, ending Angela Merkel's illustrious 16-year reign.

About the news:

  • The visit of the German chancellor is significant because it occurs towards the end of the Russia-Ukraine conflict's first year and follows the recent Chinese spy balloon incident, which sent shockwaves across global geopolitics.
  • The Green and Sustainable Development Partnership (GSDP), the Indo-Pacific, and economic cooperation were all topics of discussion between the two nations during the visit.

Highlight of the visit:

Partnership for Green Hydrogen:

  • The Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force was established in September 2022 to address this.
  • Germany, India, and the United States have agreed to collaborate on development initiatives in third world nations.
  • Agreements on "Digital Transformation, FinTech, IT, Telecom, and Supply Chains' Diversification" were reached by both parties.


  • The two nations have a long history of collaboration in research, innovation, and science and technology under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on "Cooperation in Scientific Research and Technological Development".

India-Germany Relations:

  • Due to their strategic collaboration in the G4, Germany and India's bilateral relations have taken on a greater significance on the international stage.
  • In order to press for UNSC expansion and changes, these two nations joined forces with Brazil and Japan to form the Group of 4.
  • Political and economic exchange with Germany has greatly increased during the past ten years. Now, both bilaterally and globally, Germany is one of India's most significant allies.

Historical prespective:

  • India was among the first nations to recognize the Federal Republic of Germany in 1951 and one of the first to terminate the state of war with that nation following World War II
  • India backed East and West Germany's reunification in 1990 and kept up diplomatic ties with both of them.
  • While its Eastern counterpart was more sympathetic to India's move, West Germany denounced India for freeing Goa from Portuguese dominion in 1961 and backed Portugal's totalitarian dictatorship under Salazar against India.
  • This was largely a result of Cold War politics at the time, when West Germany was allied with NATO and the United States while East Germany was influenced by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.
  • With India's economic liberalisation and the end of the Cold War, the relationship, founded on shared ideals of democracy and the rule of law, has grown dramatically in the 1990s.

6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations:

  • In May 2022, the 6th IGC took place, and numerous significant agreements were signed:
  • India and Germany will work together on third-country projects under the Triangle Development Cooperation under the Green and Sustainable Development Partnership.
  • Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement, under which the German Foreign Office and MEA will establish a direct, secure communication.
  • German aid will be used by the Indo-German Development Cooperation Regarding Renewable Energy Partnership to work towards the creation of a green hydrogen hub in India.
  • Joint Statement on the Launch of the Comprehensive Partnership on Migration and Mobility.
  • A Joint Statement on the Restoration of Forest Landscapes has been approved by Germany and India.

Cultural affinities between Germany and India:

  • Academic and cultural ties between Germany and India date back many years. The Upanishads and the Rigveda were originally translated and published by Indo-European linguist Max Mueller. The first Chair of Indology was established at the University of Bonn in 1818 as a result of German interest in Indian philosophy and languages.
  • The Indian government has so far provided funding for 31 short-term rotational studies of India in German universities. The Berlin International Film Festival and other German Indian film festivals frequently feature films and artists from India.

Strategic Ties:

  • Germany has no strategic presence in Asia, in contrast to France and the United Kingdom.
  • Over 1700 German companies operate in India, directly and indirectly supporting over 400,000 people.
  • One of the top 10 trade nations in the world and India's principal European trading partner is Germany.
  • The bilateral commerce between the two countries exceeded EUR 21.3 billion in 2019.
  • Germany is India's seventh-largest foreign direct investor, having made around USD 12 billion in FDI total between 2000 and June 2020.
India-Germany Defence and security relations:
  • In the fields of commercial marine security and anti-terrorism cooperation, India and Germany often communicate.
  • In 2006, the two countries inked an agreement on cooperation in the fight against piracy.
  • 2008 saw the first combined drills between the German and Indian navies. This collaborative drill took place in the Gulf of Aden in 2021.
  • During the most recent international military exercise, "Pitch Black 2022," held in Australia, fighter jets from the German and Indian air services took part.
Institutional Relationship:
  • The Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) are a special mechanism that brings ministers and officials from the two sides together to have bilateral conversations about collaboration and partnership in a variety of sectors.
  • Global security policy challenges and coordinated efforts to address the climate disaster were among the IGC's focus topics.
  • Many agreements were negotiated following the last IGC in may 2022.
Partnership for Green and Sustainable Energy:
  • Collaboration in Agroecology
  • Programs of Triangular Development Cooperation in Third Nations
  • An additional initiative to improve understanding of shared national, regional, and strategic interests is the Track 1.5 Strategic Dialogue.
Challenges in the relation:
  • Germany's low trade: Compared to China, less than 10% of Germany's commerce is with India.
  • Restrictive Policies: Germany possesses a sophisticated defence industry similar to that of France, but due to the country's restricted weapons export policy, the country's defence exports fall short of their potential.
  • The potential for trade between two nations is hampered by the absence of a separate bilateral investment treaty.
  • Germany advocates for more lenient labour laws because it is sceptical of India's trade liberalisation efforts.
Way ahead
  • Germany had acknowledged India as a strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly at a time when the region was becoming more significant in global geopolitics.
  • The relationship between Germany and India has the ability to address global concerns including green development, energy security, and food security.

Read More : - Cyber Security

Source: The Hindu


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