PM Modi meets Germany’s Merkel: Here is what’s on talks agenda

  • Agencies
  • Updated: Oct 05, 2015 12:59 IST
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photograph before a (AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in India on a three-day official visit, was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan and welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House on Monday.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj called on the German leader ahead of delegational level talks between the two sides.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “It’s a Guten Morgen in Delhi as Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a ceremonial welcome at the @RashtrapatiBhvn.”

“A personal warmth. EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on Chancellor Angela Merkel, welcomes her before delegation level talks,” he tweeted. “Bringing Berlin and New Delhi closer. PM @narendramodi greets Chancellor Merkel at Hyderabad House.”

Trade, security and the India-EU trade agreement are expected to figure in the talks and some agreements set to be inked.

Merkel would depart for Bengaluru, Karnataka, at 6pm on Monday. Merkel would visit the Robert Bosch Engineering and Innovation Centre in Bengaluru on Tuesday. She would also attend a business forum organised by NASSCOM and Frauenhofer Institute, Bengaluru.

India and Germany are strategic partners since 2001. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in the European Union and the seventh largest foreign investor in India.

Modi, Merkel to talk technology in Bengaluru

Modi and Merkel will discuss in Bengaluru on Tuesday the role of technology and innovation in manufacturing and IT services for the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives.

While Merkel’s trip to this tech hub from Monday night has been on cards as part of her three-day official visit to India since Sunday, Modi is joining her for first hand view of the 50-billion euro German auto major Bosch facility and learn how other German firms in the country will contribute to the make in India and digitise India projects.

“Modi and Merkel will be apprised of our key innovation projects and commitments to skill development that can help the country become a manufacturing hub and a back office of the world,” a Bosh India official told IANS ahead of their visit.

After viewing presentations on Bosch engineering and business solutions and vocational centre, both leaders will walk through its facilities and interact with its executives.

“Bengaluru is the city where you can see how German firms like Bosch, Siemens, SAP, BASF and Mercedes-Benz innovate and make in India products and solutions for its development,” German Consul General Jorn Rohde said.

German President Joachim Gauck visited Bengaluru a year ago on a similar mission, as the city is host to about 200 leading German firms in diverse sectors.

“The visit of heads of the state to Bengaluru signifies the growing collaboration between the two countries in research and development, smart manufacturing and convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT),” Rohde noted.

Meeting the who’s who

Modi and Merkel will also participate at an ICT event in a star hotel, where they will interact with who’s who of the IT industry, including Infosys co-founder NR Narayan Murthy and Wipro czar Azim Premji and German software major SAP India executives.

“A large visiting German delegation, including ministers and business heads, will be present on the occasion to exchange views on entrepreneurship and start-ups to fuel our ICT products and services for domestic and global markets,” a top Nasscom official told IANS.

Organised by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the apex organisation of IT firms in India, and the German Fraunhofer Institute, the luncheon meeting is a fallow-up of Modi’s participation at a similar event on start-ups during his visit to the Silicon Valley at San Jose in California, US, on September 27.

“Modi has addressed at the ‘India-US Start-Up Konnect 2015’ event we organised in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) to showcase the strength of our start-up ecosystem, which attracted $2-billion venture funds in 2014,” the official added.

“The India-Germany meeting with Modi and Merkel will provide a boost to the Indian IT industry’s engagement with German industry’s 4.0 thrust, as engineering has been the fastest growing segment in the IT industry,” Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said on the eve of the event.

Trade, ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ focus

Modi is expected to take up with Merkel the need to remove “avoidable irritants” for early conclusion of a free trade pact ahead of an India-European Union summit next month.

They will discuss cooperation in the fields of technology, skill development, river cleaning, clean energy, waste management and railways, and the expansion of the United Nations Security Council for which both nations have staked their claims.

According to German ambassador Martin Ney, both the leaders will focus on business ties between the two countries in the city.

“Merkel will meet with representatives of German firms present in the city, employing hundreds of young Indians and contributing to ‘Make in India’ as well as ‘Digital India’,” Ney told reporters in New Delhi on October 3.

The meeting between Modi and Merkel comes days after they met in New York on September 26 at a high-powered summit of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan (G-4 group), which the Indian prime minister hosted, as all the four countries are bidding for a permanent seat in the United Nation’s restructured Security Council.

Read: India-Germany cooperation is of immense depth: German minister

With IANS, ANI and HTC inputs

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