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India, Germany likely to ink several pacts to boost bilateral cooperation.

Berlin, April 10 ( ANI ): India and Germany are likely to sign a host of agreements in the field of education, infrastructure , science and technology and energy on Thursday when delegations of both countries hold the second round of inter-governmental consultations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here today on a three-state visit, will lead the Indian delegation at the talks. The German delegation will be led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

India and Germany are also likely to discuss the status of the European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and hold talks on Afghanistan.

During the visit, India will seek technology and expertise from Germany in the field of renewable energy. Berlin is also likely to extend a line of credit worth over a billion Euro in this regard.

Germany is keen about making investments and providing expertise on the Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor.

The first round of Indo-German Inter-Governmental Consultations took place in New Delhi on May 31, 2011.

In Asia, the Inter-Governmental Consultation format is used with only two other countries-Israel and China. Germany also has such meetings with its European partners.

Soon after his arrival at Berlin's Tegel Military Airport this afternoon, Dr.Singh was received by India's Ambassador to Germany Sujata Singh and Germany's Chief of Protocol Jorgen Christian Mertenst. He was given a guard of honour at the airport and is also expected to be given ceremonial reception by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Chancellery.

Dr. Singh is being accompanied by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju and Science and Technology Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.

A high-profile business delegation is also accompanying him.

Dr. Singh is making his second visit to Germany in three years at the invitation of Chancellor Merkel.

He visited Germany last in December 2010.

Earlier in New Delhi, Dr. Singh said that during his visit, he intended to seek greater business ties with Germany, as India continues to take steps to boost domestic investments, attract foreign capital and spur the economy back to its long-term growth potential of eight percent.

Dr. Singh said: "Germany is our largest economic partner in Europe and one of our key global partners for trade, investment and technology. I intend to seek greater trade and investment ties with Germany, as we continue to take steps to boost domestic investments, attract foreign investors and spur the economy back to its long term growth potential of eight percent."

"Germany is also a key partner for us in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, science and technology, higher education, vocational training and clean and renewable energy. We expect to sign a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in these areas. I will seek Chancellor Merkel"s support for an early conclusion of a balanced India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement. I will also propose that Europe keep its doors open to Indian investors and professionals," he added.

Noting that Germany plays a key role in the global economy and, in particular, in stability and growth in the Euro Zone, which has an important bearing on the Indian economy, Dr. Singh said at a time of persisting global economic weakness and uncertainty, he looks forward to discussing these issues with German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel.

"We will also discuss our shared interests in United Nations Security Council reforms and a broad range of global developments, including with respect to Afghanistan, West Asia and the Asia Pacific region," he said.

Asserting that India remains committed to a close, cooperative and mutually beneficial partnership with Germany, Dr. Singh said: "The Inter-Governmental Consultations, first held in May 2011 in Delhi, provide a useful forum for discussions on the full spectrum of our relationship and have helped advance Indo-German cooperation in a broad range of areas."

"We attach high importance to our strategic partnership with Germany, which rests on solid foundations of shared values, centuries-old intellectual and cultural engagement, expanding opportunities for bilateral cooperation and growing convergence on international issues," he added.

Dr. Singh further said during this visit, he will call on the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck.

"I will also participate in the closing ceremony of the "Days of India in Germany," which was organized to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Germany," he added. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Apr 10, 2013
Words:744
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