India asks Germany to ease high-tech exports

India has urged Germany to withdraw restrictions on high technology transfers to India. The plea came during prime minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday.

While Singh described India's relations with Germany as strategic and free from any irritants, Germany's restrictive measures against high technology trade with India continue to be a sore point with India in its relations with the European nation.

According to MEA secretary (west) Vivek Katju, Germany had certain laws with regard to high technology exports but the government has, in view of the strategic nature of Indo-German ties, called on Germany to liberalise the restrictions on such exports.

Making the opening remarks at a joint press interaction with Merkel, Singh said there existed immense potential for high technology trade between India and Germany. "I conveyed to Chancellor Merkel that relaxation of German export control laws will open new horizons for such trade. This will be to our mutual benefit," he added.

"On transfer of high technology for peaceful purposes, the Indian Prime Minister mentioned the potential for high technology trade between India and Germany. We are cooperating closely on this, and will work towards a smoother cooperation," Merkel said.

Meanwhile India and Germany have agreed to intensify efforts to reform the UN and support each other's bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council.