labels: economy - general, trade
German Chancellor Angela Merkel coming to push Indo-German trade news
27 October 2007
Mumbai: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making her first trip to India beginning Monday, aiming to boost business ties with this country.

A 30-strong business delegation comprising senior executives from European planemaker Airbus, conglomerate Siemens, German airline Lufthansa, rail operator Deutsche Bahn and reinsurer Munich Re among others will accompany her on her three-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai.

India and Germany are expected to sign a slew of agreements in areas ranging from trade and technology to energy and defence during Merkel''s visit.

German education and research minister Annette Schavan and influential figures in the world of science and technology will also accompany Merkel.

The India-US civil nuclear deal, which has been stalled due to the standoff between the government and its Left allies, is unlikely to figure prominently during bilateral talks.

Germany, an influential member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, is the next chair of the NSG. Berlin has indicated that it supports India''s quest for global civil nuclear integration, but would wait for it to complete its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before taking a formal stand on the issue.

Merkel will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including UN reforms, climate change, energy security, cooperation in the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations and promoting security in Afghanistan.

Several agreements in areas of science and technology, trade and economy and a pact on exchange of classified information in the defence sector will be signed after the talks between the two leaders.

Merkel, whose country is current president of the G8 club of most industrialised nations, is likely to seek India''s support in bringing the Doha round of global trade negotiations to an early and successful conclusion.

German firms wanted to boost ties with India in newer areas such as environmental technology and software as well as machinery, electrical engineering and chemicals.

Germany''s trade with India reached $15.1 billion (about 10.5 billon euros) last year. German exports to India rose more than 50 per cent while Indian exports to Germany were up 20 per cent.

Obviously, "the prospects are enormous for Germany." And, India, Asia''s third-biggest economy, has been growing at an average of 8.6 per cent since in the past four years.

Merkel is also expected to meet ethnic minority groups and non-governmental organisations.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel coming to push Indo-German trade