After the Second World War, India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. Today, India regards Germany as an important partner in its quest for a new political role in the region and the world, for its ambitious economic reform programmes and for the development of the country’s industrial sector. Relations are based on the May 2000 Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century, which has since been updated by further joint declarations. Of particular importance are the Indo‑German intergovernmental consultations, where the two countries’ Cabinets have held joint sessions every two years since 2011, alternately in Germany and India.
Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the EU and its sixth most important trading partner worldwide. Since India embarked on a course of reform and opened up its economy in 1991, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased rapidly.
Germany’s development cooperation with India remains a major component of bilateral relations. Despite the rapid economic development seen in recent years, around 22 percent of the population live below the poverty line, on less than 1.90 US dollars per day, while 58 percent have less than 3.10 US dollars per day at their disposal. Yet, several hundred million people have successfully escaped poverty over the last two decades. At the same time, however, industrialisation and urbanisation are causing serious damage to the environment. India is now the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Development cooperation focuses on the following areas: energy, sustainable urban development and environmental and resource protection. In addition, German development cooperation supports the economic participation of women and the setting up of a practice-oriented (dual) vocational training system and provides stimulus for innovative approaches, e.g. in social policy or promoting start-ups.