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Chancellor Merkel And I Are on The Same Page, Modi Tells German Daily in Interview

Modi is in Germany to attend the fourth India-Germany intergovernmental consultation.

Tushar Dhara | News18.com

Updated:May 30, 2017, 2:12 PM IST
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Chancellor Merkel And I Are on The Same Page, Modi Tells German Daily in Interview
Modi is in Germany to attend the fourth India-Germany intergovernmental consultation. (Photo: Getty)

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to Handelsblatt, one of Germany’s leading business dailies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited German firms to increase investments in India and said that he is “optimistic” about the partnership between the two countries. He also promised to support Germany’s G20 agenda.

“We see Germany as an important partner in our leading national flagship programs — Make in India, Skill India, Start-up India, Clean India and Smart Cities. We invite German companies to engage in projects and partnerships,” Prime Minister Modi was quoted as saying in Handelsblatt. “I am very optimistic about this partnership.”

Modi said that India is among the fastest growing major economies of the world and provides business opportunities in a number of sectors to international partners. “We are keen to further integrate ourselves with global economic networks. Our large talent pool is a resource from which the global community can benefit,” Modi said.

Modi is in Germany to attend the fourth India-Germany intergovernmental consultation. Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking out new partnerships for the European Union’s largest economy after warning in a speech on Sunday that “the times in which we could completely rely on others are over to a certain extent” and that “Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands”.

Those comments have caused reverberations around the world and have been interpreted as a reference to the United States and its mercurial President Donald Trump and his position on NATO, Russia, economic partnership, trade and climate change.

Germany may be looking to Asia to boost trade and commerce even as the Trans-Atlantic partnership looks rocky and with the European Union set to begin complex negotiations with the United Kingdom, which has opted to leave the grouping.

After her meeting with Modi, Merkel will meet Chinese premier Li Keqiang this week, signaling a new friendship with India and China, according to Handelsblatt. China’s One Belt One Road project may boost ties between Europe and Asia and unveil a new era of global trade and commerce, even though Germany has said its firms would not participate if the bidding for projects was not fair and transparent.

A German government source told Handelsblatt that India has always been an “extremely difficult partner on trade and climate policy.” However, PM Modi told the daily that he and Chancellor Merkel were “on the same page”.

Modi also said the G20 must focus on fighting corruption and black money. He added that the forum must take a strong stand on global food and crude oil price volatility and terrorism.

Modi said India is seeking reform of the UN Security Council and Bretton Woods institutions. “There is an urgent need to expand the Security Council,” he said.

The PM said India was keen to attract German Mittelstand, the country’s famed family-owned small and medium enterprises that manufacture everything from precision engineering to car parts, to partner in the ‘Make in India’ program. “We have established dedicated platforms to support German companies and investments in India. There is strong commitment from the leadership on both sides to strengthen economic relations.”

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| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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