To visit India is to visit one-sixth of the world. As soon as next year, India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country. Without a doubt, India will play a key role in shaping the international order of the 21st century – in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. The fact that, over the last 15 years, India has succeeded in lifting more than 400 million people – equivalent to almost the entire population of the EU – out of extreme poverty is impressive. This shows that a pluralistic society, freedom and democracy are drivers of economic development, peace and stability. We face the task of remaining engaged in these efforts and at the same time working to promote human rights.
My visit to India falls into the last month of Germany’s Presidency of the G7 and comes only a few days after India has assumed the Presidency of the G20. Therefore, my talks will also focus on the most urgent issues of our time – containing the climate crisis and preserving our rules-based international order. India most recently demonstrated at the G20 summit in Bali that it is prepared to bring its weight to bear on global affairs. The clearer position taken by the G20 against Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine was ultimately also possible thanks to India. India is a rising economic power and a stable democracy that – despite all of its social challenges at home – is both an example and a bridge-builder for many countries in the world. And it is also a natural partner for Germany.
The Indian Government has set ambitious goals not only in the G20, but also domestically for its own people. Regarding the expansion of renewables, India wants to do more than in the past to drive forward the energy transition. Germany is ready to assist India in this endeavour. We are all affected by the dramatic consequences of the climate crisis, which destroys livelihoods in both Europe and India. We are not making empty promises when we say that we want to further strengthen our economic, climate and security-policy cooperation with India, beyond what we are already doing through our strategic partnership. This is why, while in New Delhi, I will also be signing a Mobility Partnership Agreement that will make it easier for our citizens to study, conduct research and work in each others’ countries.