NEW DELHI: “Based on similar democratic values and a thorough understanding of one another’s interests, India and Germany maintain close ties,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during the latter’s two-day visit to India.
The two leaders talked about the history of cultural and economic interchange between their countries and decided to deepen bilateral ties. PM Modi pointed out that Germany was the largest trading partner of India in Europe while Scholz emphasised upon their shared views on bilateral, regional, and global challenges.
The talks primarily focussed on expanding cooperation in the areas of trade, defence, clean energy, climate change and new technologies Since an Inter-Governmental Consultation (IGC) mechanism was established between the two countries in 2011, Scholz’s trip to India was the first by a German Chancellor.
Scholz said his country wanted to simplify the rules for Indian information technology experts who wish to obtain work visas in Germany. While visiting the Silicon Valley of India in Bengaluru, he said Germany intended to modernise the entire visa issuing process.
Regarding the German language requirements, Scholz said by relaxing the rules, Germany would become a more attractive destination for IT workers. IT workers from India, he said, can learn the language later, suggesting that the knowledge of German is not mandatory.
Earlier, the German Chancellor called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Welcoming him on his first visit to India, the President noted that Germany is India’s largest trade partner in Europe and also among the top investors in India.
The German Chancellor’s first standalone visit in 11 years highlighted the shift in Eurocentric Germany’s renewed focus in furtherance of its Indo-Pacific strategy articulated in 2021.
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