India and Germany held a virtual Foreign Secretary level consultations on June 26, 2020. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India and Miguel Berger, State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office; discussed bilateral cooperation in various areas and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. As per the Press Release by the Ministry of External Affairs; both the nations reviewed the extensive cooperation in addressing the challenges of COVID-19, including supply of medicines, equipment and technology.
Thus, they agreed to advance the various areas of bilateral cooperation and initiate consultations; taking into consideration India’s upcoming membership of the UN Security Council (2021-22) and G20 Presidency (2022); and Germany’s present membership of the UN Security Council and upcoming Presidency of the European Union.
Relations Between India And Germany
Bilateral relations between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles. Further, they are marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect. In the last decade, both economic and political interaction between India and Germany has increased significantly. Today, Germany is amongst India’s most important partners. Both bilaterally and in the global scenario.
India and Germany have a “Strategic Partnership” since 2001. It has been further strengthened with the Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC); at the level of Head of Governments (German Chancellor and PM). Which allows for a comprehensive review of Cooperation and identification of new areas of engagement.
Notably, some States and Cities of India and Germany such as Karnataka – Bavaria, Mumbai – Stuttgart, Maharashtra and Baden-Württemberg; have entered into twinning arrangements. India-Germany Defence Cooperation Agreement (2006) provides a framework for bilateral defence cooperation.
Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. Bilateral trade grew from Euro 15.96 billion to Euro 20.41 bn in 2018. Moreover, in the period January to November 2019, total bilateral trade stood at Euro 19.35 bn. Germany is the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India since April 2000. Germany’s total FDI in India from April 2000 until June 2019 amounted to US$ 11.9 billion. Further, both the countries signed a Joint Statement on April 1, 2019 to set up a Fast-Track system for Indian Companies in Germany.
Germany Offers Aid To Migrant Workers In India
In other news, Germany became the second G-7 country to offer emergency aid; to help the urban poor and vulnerable groups like migrant workers in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has offered an emergency support measure of 460 million Euros (Rs 3,893 crore); to support India’s move towards a systematic social protection scheme. The aim of the loan is to develop systems and processes for coordinated action across ministries and states; balance social assistance and social insurance programmes; and allow for portability of ‘in kind benefits’ such as the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme.