PM Modi starts ‘Mission Europe’ with Germany

New Delhi [India] May 29 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started his 'Mission Europe' with Germany, which also includes his visit to Spain, Russia and France.

Prime Minister Modi is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a time when the Chancellor is not happy with U.S.

President Donald Trump who refused to re-commit to the 2015 Paris climate deal at the G7 summit. Chancellor Merkel, who will be fighting elections in September, has shown more inclination towards French President Emmanuel Macron, whom Prime Minister Modi will also be meeting on June 3 on his last leg of the tour.

Chancellor Merkel is likely to apprise Prime Minister Modi of the outcome of the G7 Summit wherein leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan had re-affirmed their support for the Paris accord - but Trump said he would make a decision in the coming week.

This forced Chancellor Merkel to exhort the European countries "to take destiny into their own hands".

German Chancellor will host dinner for the Prime Minister tonight at Schloss Meseberg, the official State Guest House of Germany.

Both the leaders are expected to hold wide range of discussions on global, regional and bilateral issues.

In the aftermath of Manchester terror attacks, both the leaders are also expected to discuss the terror that continues to threaten both the countries and the world.

Though India has been bearing the brunt of Pakistan sponsored terrorism since decades, Germany witnessed a major terror attack on December 19 last year when a terrorist in a lorry drove through crowds at a Christmas market in central Berlin and killed 12 persons and injured nearly 50 others.

The ISIS claimed one of its 'soldiers' was responsible for the terror attack. China's Belt and Road Initiative and the South China Sea are also likely to figure in the talks between the leaders of two nations that have a 'Strategic Partnership' since 2000.

The Prime Minister is in Germany for fourth biannual Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) on Tuesday.

Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Modi will lead their respective delegations. Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar are accompanying the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will address the Indo-German Business Summit tomorrow, where he will aggressively market the investment opportunities in Make in India, Skill Development and Digital India.

Germany has the requisite expertise to cater to Indian needs. Before Prime Minister Modi's visit, German Ambassador to India Martin Ney said that Germany not only supports India's entry not to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but also to other non-proliferation groups like the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group as well.

Chancellor Merkel has visited India quite often. There have been regular high-level visits from both sides, including at the highest level. Chancellor Merkel visited India in 2007, 2011 and again in October 2015 for the 3rd IGC. German President Joachim Gauck paid a state visit to India in February 2014. Prime Minister Modi paid an official visit to Germany in April 2015 on the occasion of participation of India as Partner Country in the Hannover Messe- 2015.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Germany in August 2015. Germany is India's largest trading partner in Europe. There are more than 1,600 Indo-German collaborations and over 600 Indo-German Joint Ventures in operation.

Bilateral relations between the Republic of India and Germany have been traditionally strong due to commercial, cultural and technological co-operation.

Germany has consistently been among India's top ten global trade partners. India was ranked 24th in Germany's global trade during 2016. Bilateral trade in 2016 was valued at 17.42 billion. Apart from traditional sectors, knowledge-driven sectors hold good potential for collaboration. There is considerable scope for co-operation in the fields of IT, biotechnology, renewable energy, green technology, urban mobility and development and the entertainment industry.

India exports textiles, metal, metal products, electro technology, leather, leather goods, food and beverages, machinery, pharmaceuticals, auto components, chemicals, gems and jewellery and rubber products to Germany.

India imports machinery, electro technology, metal and metal products, chemicals, auto components, measurement and control equipment, plastics, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, paper and printing materials from Germany.

Trade between both the countries has been increasing. In 2014, bilateral trade was 15.96 billion Euros that jumped to 17.33 billion Euros in 2015. There was a marginal increase from 17.33 billion Euros in 2015 to 17.42 billion Euros in 2016. Germany is the seventh largest foreign direct investor in India since January 2000. German FDI in India in 2016 was to the tune of US (Dollar) 1.1 billion. Germany's total FDI in India from April 2000 until March 2017 stands at US (Dollar) 9.69 billion. Indian investments in Germany have also shown a remarkable increase in the last few years. Indian corporate entities have invested over US (Dollar) 7 billion in Germany. There are more than 200 Indian companies operating in Germany. It's expected that Prime Minister Modi's visit will further cement the bilateral ties between the two countries that had indirect contact during ancient times, resulting more visibly in Adolf Hitler's rule who used Swastika in Germany's flag.

The name Swastika comes from Sanskrit and denotes a "conducive to well being or auspicious"..

Source: ANI