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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

PM leaves for Germany, to seek greater biz ties

PTI  New Delhi, April 10, 2013
First Published: 09:21 IST(10/4/2013) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(10/4/2013)

Ahead of his visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said he intends to seek greater business ties with Germany as India continues to take steps to boost domestic investments, attract foreign capital and spur the economy back to its long-term growth potential of 8%.

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Singh, who left for Berlin on a three-day visit, said Germany is also a key partner for India in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, science and technology, higher education, vocational training and clean and renewable energy.

"We expect to sign a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in these areas," he said, adding, "I intend to seek greater trade and investment ties with Germany."

Germany is India's largest economic partner in Europe and one of the key global partners for trade, investment and technology.

Indo-German bilateral trade had registered an increase of 18.4% and reached Euros 18.37 billion in 2011. However, due to global economic slowdown, bilateral trade saw a dip of 5.5% last year.

During his discussions, Singh will clarify to the German leadership the large number of steps and the reform process taken up by his government to improve the investment climate and make it a lucrative destination for investors.

"I will seek Chancellor (Angela) Merkel's support for an early conclusion of a balanced India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement. I will also propose that Europe keep its doors open to Indian investors and professionals," Singh, who will co-chair the 2nd round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGCs) with Merkel, said.

Noting that Germany plays a key role in the global economy and, in particular, in stability and growth in the Euro Zone, which has an important bearing on the Indian economy, Singh said at a time of persisting global economic weakness and uncertainty, he looks forward to discussing these issues with Merkel.

"We will also discuss our shared interests in United Nations Security Council reforms and a broad range of global developments, including with respect to Afghanistan, West Asia and the Asia Pacific region," he said in his departure statement.


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