German Chancellor Angela Merkel to pay a visit to India from October 31

 thehindu.com  10/23/2019 15:49:45 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a three-day visit to India beginning October 31 with an aim to further broadbase strategic ties in an array of key areas including defence and security.

Official sources said Ms. Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in their wide-ranging talks, will particularly focus on giving a new momentum to bilateral ties by significantly scaling up cooperation in several sectors.

During her visit from October 31 to November 2, Ms. Merkel will also meet top executives of major Indian companies which are active in Germany.

The two sides are likely to explore ways to further ramp up ties in areas of defence, security, renewable energy, high technology, skill development, railways, education, water and waste management and urban development, sources said.

Mr. Modi and Ms. Merkel are also expected to deliberate on key regional and global issues including the situation in Afghanistan, West Asia and the Korean peninsula.

In June, Mr. Modi and Ms. Merkel met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in areas like artificial intelligence and cyber security.

India and Germany have been strategic partners since 2001. Both the countries have a mechanism of intergovernmental consultations at the level of head of governments which allows for a comprehensive review of cooperation and identification of fresh areas of engagement.

India is among a select group of countries with which Germany has such a dialogue mechanism.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a state visit to India in March 2018. Ms. Merkel visited India in 2007, 2011 and in October 2015.

Germany is Indias largest trading partner in Europe and India was ranked 25th in Germanys global trade during 2018.

Germany is the seventh largest foreign direct investor in India since April 2000. Germanys total FDI in India from April 2000 until March 2019 amounted to $11.7 billion.

A fast-track system to facilitate hassle-free regulatory clearances for German companies has been operating in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) since March 2016.

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