Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
In a recent meeting between Indian PM and German Chancellor, the two sides signed a joint declaration of intent on
sustainable urban development,
continued development of cluster managers and skill development,
cooperation in the field of digitalisation,
cooperation in the field of railway security,
promoting vocational training and
continued cooperation on an Indo-German centre for sustainability
India and Germany
India is one of the first countries to end the state of war with post-war Germany in 1951 and amongst the first countries to recognize the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). India and Germany have a ‘strategic partnership’ since 2001, which has been further strengthened with two rounds of Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC). There have been regular interactions between Parliamentarians of the two countries. The Indo-German Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag, established in 1971, has contributed to strengthening links between the two Parliaments.
The closeness in relation with Germany started in 2000 when special green cards were introduced for Indians to encourage Indian students to go to Germany and also encouraged business visas so that Indian business can go to Germany and there is better flow of trade between India and Germany.
Impact of closeness between India and Germany
Germany seems to be in driver’s seat when it comes to EU. India’s relation, as it gets better with Germany will help consolidate its position as one of the major players in Asia. The time is right for India to partner with Europe as it is said that this century belongs to Asia.
This move of Germany to partner with India is expected to be followed by other EU countries who in the past used to favour china over India.
After Pokhran, Germany and France stood solidly with India after basic criticism. This made the EU change its policy towards India.
India will have to engage much more with Germany and France after Brexit as far as bilateral relationship is concerned. This is good for India as Germany comes with good source of investment and are not protectionist.
German partnership is very important for making Skill India Mission successful. If 800 million Indian youth get skill as per the global standards, then the youth power can contribute to India’s development. Germany has set global parameters in skill development which are very apt for India.
Germany and India were part of G-4 to fight for permanent membership of UN Security Council. This was huge step forward in India German relationship. Also, in NSG, Germany and France have supported India. The question is if they will be able to pressure china to de-link India’s candidature from Pakistan’s candidature. There is no way that can be compared but the Chinese are trying to do that.
India and Germany have established a joint working group on counter terrorism which has led to critical sharing of intelligence. On the perception of need to fight international terrorism, Germany is supportive of India’s position, including in the UN that India has a threat from neighbourhood which threatens the unity of India. Now that terror has started emanating from Europe’s soil, German Chancellor is one of those who said from the beginning that it was important for Europe to combat with this issue in a unified way.
Germany is one of the few countries in western liberal world that still stands for immigration.
The German Chancellor was courageous to open German borders for refugees when public opinion in Germany did not support it at that time. As a result of this, Germany has taken a very large number of upper elite of Syrian society who are highly qualified at the time when Germany was facing a shrinking population. This was a smart thing by Germany because today it has large reservoir of respected and qualified Syrians who will work for Germany’s prosperity.
India EU FTA
While India is growing in significance as a trading partner for Germany there is clearly a great deal of potential to be realized. Apart from traditional sectors, knowledge driven sectors hold good potential for collaboration in the fields of IT, ITES, biotechnology, auto components, renewable energy, green technology etc. The negotiations for FTA is going on for many years. the FTA, the problem lies with ‘investment’ and many issues which have to be sorted out. The sovereign debt crisis and economic crisis in Europe and increased protectionism hasn’t helped negotiations.
There is a model BITA which India shares with Germany. It is to be renewed to further engage in increased trade between both countries.
Germany and China
The Germany-China economic relationship is pretty deep, though both sides have been in long negotiations on an investment and trade pact, like India. Germany was much more China-positive, but this tide appears to have turned in recent years as it has expressed reservations about China’s predatory trading practices. Although Germany sent an official-level delegation to the OBOR summit, it has asked for the OBOR process to be made more transparent, in accordance with WTO.
It is not about free trade but driving the world towards sino-centric trade. Also, Germany wondered how could OBOR succeed without India on board as far as trade and connectivity is concerned. According to it, this initiative could be a debt trap for the countries who are joining OBOR.
Germany’s present reactions
The German Chancellor doesn’t seem to be happy with the US as NATO is not being supported strongly by USA and also that President Trump is reluctant in supporting the Paris climate change. Today the perception is, the US President is turning back on Europe and India is reaching out to Europe. Moreover, German chancellor also said that it was high time Europe started dealing with its problem on its own.
Europe appreciates India’s position to move to non-conventional sources of energy. India and Germany’s collaboration in areas like renewable energy is gaining momentum.
Although US is out of Paris accord, India is expected to keep its momentum to tackle climate change challenges.
Connecting the dots:
India is increasing its bilateral relations with Germany. Critically examine how this relationship is expected to boost India’s strategic and economic interests.