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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose before a meeting in New Delhi, India, Oct. 5, 2015 (AP photo by Saurabh Das).

Reciprocal Economic Gains Will Provide Ballast for Germany-India Ties

Monday, Oct. 26, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to India in early October was the second summit-level meeting she has had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the span of a month. These talks have themselves been preceded by a flurry of other high-level exchanges. Both sides seem keen to dispel any notion of a lack of momentum in bilateral relations, a view that has arisen ever since Modi failed to meet Merkel in Berlin during his trip to Germany last year.

Germany is eager to take advantage of Modi’s renewed push for economic growth through clean energy initiatives and manufacturing. Germany has the technical know-how and India the vast market with major growth potential. For its part, India is seeking to leverage the new market opportunities it is offering Germany to gain deeper German technical collaboration for its high-end industrialization plans, in addition to securing German influence for lowering the European Union’s trade barriers. Geopolitically, both sides feel that they punch below their weight around the world and believe they can find mutual ways to boost their influence, especially at the United Nations, where both are angling for permanent seats on the Security Council. However, the success of this burgeoning German-Indian partnership will depend on the strength of the economic glue that binds it. ...

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