New Delhi: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who arrives in India on Saturday morning on a two-day State Visit, will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House after being accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The German Chancellor, who is arriving on a standalone visit – the first such since the two sides began the Inter-Governmental Consultation (IGC) mechanism in 2011, will attend a Business Meeting at Hyderabad House after his talks, which will be followed by the two sides exchanging agreements and press statements, according to the schedule.
He will attend a wreath laying ceremony at Rajghat in the late afternoon, after which he will call on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhaven. He leaves for Bengaluru on Sunday morning, and departs later in the evening.
The IGC is a whole-of-government mechanism which brings together ministers and officials from both sides, who hold discussions in their domain areas and then report on the discussions during a plenary session chaired by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.
The Chancellor’s visit comes after a year of renewed engagement between India and Germany. PM Modi and Chancellor Scholz met on three occasions in 2022:
i. For the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (on May 2 last year) when PM visited Berlin, with his delegation (Finance Minister, EAM, NSA, MOS (I/C) DST and Secretary DPIIT).
ii. Chancellor invited PM Modi for the G7 Summit held under German Presidency in June 2022 in Schloss Elmau, Bavaria, for which India was a partner country.
iii. The two leaders interacted on the sidelines of the G20 Summit held in Bali in November 2022.
India and Germany share a strong economic partnership. Germany is India’s largest trade partner in the European Union and has consistently been among India’s top ten global trade partners. It is also one of the largest foreign direct investors in India.
As a symbol of close economic ties and the strong potential for enhanced cooperation, Chancellor Scholz will be accompanied by a high-powered business delegation during his visit. PM Modi and Chancellor Scholz will address a Business Roundtable, comprising of top industry leaders from both sides.
The visit will see the conclusion of business-to-business agreements.
India and Germany launched the Green and Sustainable Development Partnership (GSDP) during PM Modi’s visit to Berlin for the 6th IGC last year. The GSDP is an umbrella partnership that provides political guidance and steer to the robust ties in climate action and SDGs.
Under this, Germany will also place 10 billion euros in new and additional commitments under their development cooperation portfolio in India. Around 983 million euros of new commitments were finalized during the Annual Negotiation Meeting (ANM) held on November 28 last year in Delhi.
During the IGC, India and Germany also agreed to cooperate on Green Hydrogen. The Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force was constituted in September 2022 and an Action Plan is close to finalization.
Under the aegis of Triangular Development Cooperation, India and Germany during the 6th IGC agreed to work on development projects in third countries.
The four projects announced in May 2022 are now in different stages of implementation
a) Cameroon: Potato Seed Production through Rooted Apical Cuttings (RAC) Technology
b) Malawi: Agri Business Incubator Models for Women in Agriculture & Food Systems
c) Ghana: Developing Bamboo-Based Enterprises for Sustainable Livelihood and Income Generation in Ghana
d) Peru: Development of a geospatial portal prototype for planning, monitoring, and evaluation of Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru (MIDIS) interventions and social programs
Relating to the Indo-Pacific, Germany has come on board the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI). German naval frigate Bayern was on a 7-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific from August 2021 and made a port call in Mumbai on January 21 last year.
The Chancellor’s current visit will imbue fresh momentum to the bilateral relations, which saw renewed engagement and focus last year.
Apart from PM’s meetings with Chancellor, the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited India in December last year. There have been several Parliamentary delegations from Germany, including the India-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group (Jan 29 -February 4, 2023) and the Budget Committee of the German Parliament (February 13-17, 2023).