“Meaningful ties” between India and Germany for a shared future – this is how the freshly appointed German Ambassador in New Delhi described his expectations almost 70 years ago in his first report to the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn. Our two young republics had established diplomatic relations on 7 March 1951.
These expectations have today become reality.
Germany and India are strategic partners. We are united by our vibrant democracies. We champion a rules-based global order, both within the United Nations and as partners in the Alliance for Multilateralism.
We collaborate on the global challenges of our time: climate change, environmental protection, digitalisation and renewable energies. Currently, we are working together to fight the pandemic – Germany as one of the largest donors to the international vaccine alliance COVAX, and India as its largest vaccine supplier.
And, finally, we are united by business and academia. There are 1800 German companies operating in India. At our universities, students from India now make up the second-largest group of foreign students. And before the pandemic, more visitors travelled to India from Germany than from any other country in the European Union – to explore the palaces of Rajasthan, the mountains of the Himalayas or the beaches of Goa.
On this foundation of human connections, we aspire to build an even closer partnership.
We hope that the EU-India summit in May will send out a strong message for trade and innovation. We all know that, despite impressive growth rates, there is much more potential here for both sides! And so we will continue to strive for a binding foundation for greater free trade and investment between India and the European Union.
Last year, Germany published its first foreign policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region. These new guidelines represent a commitment to even closer dialogue with India and the region in the future – on issues ranging from urbanisation and green growth to the rules-based international order. The European Union, too, needs to take such a strategic approach to the Indo-Pacific.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our partnership extends far beyond diplomacy. We remember that on days like today. And it is people like you who breathe life into our bilateral relations. Who ensure that we will continue to forge new “meaningful ties” between India and Germany.
Thank you very much to all of you for your work!