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India: A strategic partner in Asia India

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas meeting India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Berlin, 19 February 2020

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas meeting India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Berlin, 19 February 2020, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

19.02.2020 - Article

Cooperation between Germany and India is closer than ever. Today’s meeting between Foreign Minister Maas and his Indian counterpart, Foreign Minister Jaishankar, will focus on the further intensification of relations and on support for Afghanistan.

Close-knit network of bilateral relations

As the world’s largest democracy, India, with its 1.3 billion inhabitants, is a natural partner for Germany and Europe in Asia. Germany and India have been united by a strategic partnership since the year 2000. This involves them regularly coordinating their efforts on a wide range of issues – such as international cyber policy, vocational training, renewable energy and preparedness for ecological disasters – in more than 30 different bilateral dialogue and consultation formats.

Partners for multilateralism

Germany and India are also united by close partnership on matters of foreign and security policy. The two countries cooperate closely within the group of the 20 leading industrial and emerging economies (G20) and as part of the initiative of what are known as the G4 countries (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) to reform the UN Security Council. What is more, India has signed up to the Alliance for Multilateralism initiated by Germany, in which like‑minded countries seek to pool their collaborative efforts to strengthen international institutions and rules.

Coordination to tackle current challenges

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar are continuing that close exchange at a meeting in Berlin today. Their agenda includes current international issues such as the situation in Afghanistan. Germany is the second‑largest troop contributor and the second‑largest bilateral donor in Afghanistan, while India is Afghanistan’s most important partner in the region.

The two foreign ministers will also talk about the possibility of intensifying trade relations. Germany supports the resumption of talks on a free‑trade agreement between India and the EU which could help maximise the potential of their reciprocal trade relations.

There is also a need for new regulations to protect foreign direct investment in India if the country is to remain an attractive proposition for international business. Both of these matters will be on the agenda at the EU‑India summit planned for March.

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