Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday urged Germany to relax its stringent export control laws to help open "new horizons" for high technology trade with India, as the two countries hope to achieve the bilateral trade target of €20 billion by 2012.
"There is vast untapped potential for high technology trade between India and Germany and I conveyed to Chancellor Merkel that relaxation of German export control laws will open new horizons for such trade. This will be to our mutual benefit," Prime Minister Singh said after his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday night.
"Despite the economic downturn, we are hopeful that the target of bilateral trade of €20 billion by 2012 will be achieved", Singh said.
Germany is India's biggest trading partner in the European Union. During Merkel's visit in 2007, both countries had set a trade target of €20 billion by 2012. Bilateral trade has been growing to reach €13 billion in 2009.
"This year, bilateral trade has revived and is growing by over 15% and has reached €9.8 billion during January-August 2010," said Vivek Katju, secretary (west), ahead of Singh's visit.
The Prime Minister welcomed the steady growth of German investments in the country.
He also identified science and technology as a central pillar of the partnership in 2007.
"We have agreed to continue to enhance our cooperation in the fields of higher education and renewable energy and energy efficiency," Singh said.
Merkel said there was no "trust deficit" between the two countries on the issue of high technology transfer.