The joint statement at the end of the talks in Berlin underlined that the common objective was to “encourage greater synergies between German engineering, experience in sustainable development, innovation and skills, and the new opportunities available in India and through ‘Make in India’, ‘Clean India’, ‘Digital India’ and other initiatives towards achieving economic growth and sustainable development”.
The visit saw Mr Modi pitch hard for German cooperation in reviving Indian manufacturing and stressing that India’s need for technology, skill upgradation, investment and innovation were a solid business opportunity for German firms to make lucrative investments. Both sides vowed to foster stronger ties between business and industry on both sides in order to support India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by utilizing the momentum generated by India’s participation in the Hannover Messe.
The talks held in Berlin covered a wide range of issues, and collaborations across manufacturing, green energy, urban development, river cleaning and rejuvenation, railways upgradation, education, R&D, and scientific and technical cooperation, were sought to make the Strategic Partnership enter a “new and intensive” phase.
Both sides also committed to strengthening efforts towards carrying on negotiations for an EU-India Free Trade Agreement.
Germany is the largest economy and India’s largest trade partner in the EU, and eighth largest worldwide. Given the slowdown in European economies after the Eurozone crisis and slow recovery, Germany can benefit from availing the investment opportunities India presents. Mr Modi called it a historic opportunity which must be seized a win-win solution for both economies.
Modi’s diaspora outreach in Berlin
A significant component to most of Mr Modi’s foreign tours is his outreach to Indian diaspora. Be it his “rockstar performance” at the Madison Square in New York;or Sydney’s Olympic Park, where about 21,000 NRIs gathered to hear him speak; or more recently, the rapturous welcome in Paris by the small Indian audience which chanted “Modi, Modi” as he entered for his address,courting the diaspora has now become an important aspect to Indian foreign policy. So it was with Modi’s address to the Indian community in Berlin, where he emphasized how time was ripe for India to harness opportunities for becoming a global manufacturing hub and endeared the Indian community in Germany to be a “bridge” with its Indian counterpart to help India realize her true economic potential.
After his visit to Germany, Mr Modi shall be heading for the last leg of his three nation tour to Canada where he shall be visiting Ottawa and Vancouver.
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