Bilateral Relations India-Germany Relations

Bilateral Relations

As on March 30, 2020

Embassy of India

India-Germany Relations

India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War. Today, Germany is amongst India's most important partners both bilaterally and in the global context. India and Germany have a 'Strategic Partnership' since 2001, which has been further strengthened with the launch of Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) in 2011 at the level of Heads of Governments which allows for a comprehensive review of cooperation and identification of fresh areas of engagement. India is amongst a select group of countries with which Germany has such a dialogue mechanism. The 4th IGC was held in Berlin on May 30, 2017 during which 12 bilateral cooperation documents in various sectors were signed. The 5th IGC was held in New Delhi on 1 November, 2019, during which 22 bilateral cooperation documents in various sectors were signed.

2. High level visits: Regular visits take place from both sides, including at the highest level. PM Shri Narendra Modi undertook his first official visit to Germany in April 2015, when India was the Partner Country at the Hannover Messe-2015. PM visited Germany twice in 2017: for a bilateral visit on May 29-30, 2017 to Berlin for the 4th Intergovernmental Consultations and to attend the G20 Summit on July 06-07, 2018. At the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, PM paid a short official visit to Berlin on April 20, 2018. German President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier undertook 5-day State Visit to India in March 2018 during which he visited Delhi, Varanasi and Chennai. Chancellor Merkel has visited India in 2007, 2011 and in October 2015.  Chancellor Merkel last visited India from October 31 - November 01, 2019 to attend the 5th Intergovernmental Consultations.

3. Parliamentary Exchanges: There is an Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group, in German Bundestag since 1971. The Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group (constituted in May 2018) for the present term of German Parliament consists of 24 Members from all the six parties represented in the German Parliament. Visit by Parliamentarians from both sides take place regularly. The last visit by an official Parliamentary Delegation from Germany to India was in 2015. A Goodwill Parliamentary Delegation from India led by Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs visited Berlin from October 17-19, 2018.

4. Sister States: Some States and Cities of India and Germany have entered into twinning arrangements. Karnataka and Bavaria have Sister State arrangement since 2007. Mumbai and Stuttgart are sister cities since 1968. In January 2015, Maharashtra and Baden-Wurttemberg signed an MoU to establish a Sister State relationship.

5. Defence Cooperation: India-Germany Defence Cooperation Agreement (2006) provides a framework for bilateral defence cooperation. The then, German Defence Minister Ms. Ursula von der Leyen visited India in May 2015 and Raksha mantra visited Berlin in February 2019.  To further enhance the Defence Industry and defence cooperation between Germany and India, an Arrangement on Implementation of the Agreement of 6th October 2006 concerning Bilateral Defence Cooperation was signed on February 12, 2019 during the visit of Raksha Mantri to Berlin.

6. Economic & Commercial Relations: Germany is India's largest trading partner in Europe. India ranked 24th in Germany's global trade during 2019. India’s exports were Euro 9.38 bn and imports were Euro 11.93 bn.  Bilateral trade declined from Euro 21.41 billion in 2018 to Euro 21.31 bn in 2019. Germany is the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India since April 2000. Germany's total FDI in India from April 2000 until March 2020 amounted to US$ 12.19 billion. 

7. Facilitating Trade: A Fast-Track System for German companies has been operating in Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) since March 2016.  India and Germany have set up a Fast-Track system in April 2019 for Indian Companies in Germany. To facilitate the entry of German Mittelstand (Medium Sized Companies) in India, the Embassy of India, Berlin runs the Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) Programme since September 2015. Currently, 142 German Mittelstand (MSMEs) companies are being facilitated through MIIM Programme for market entry and investment in India.

8. Science & Technology: Indo-German Science & Technology cooperation started with the signing of the Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation Agreement in 1971 and 1974. There are more than 150 joint S&T research projects and 70 direct partnerships between Universities of both countries. India's scientific establishments have close partnerships with German R&D institutions, including the Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer Laboratories and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

9. Culture: India and Germany have a long tradition of academic and cultural exchange. Max Mueller was the first scholar of Indo-European languages to translate and publish the Upanishads and the Rigveda. German interest in the Indian philosophy and languages resulted in the setting up of the first Chair of Indology at the University of Bonn in 1818. The Government of India has funded 31 short term rotating chairs of Indian studies in German Universities so far. There has been growing interest in Germany in Indian dance, music and literature, as well as motion picture and TV industry. Indian films and artists regularly feature at the Berlin International Film Festival and at Indian Film festivals held in other parts of Germany.

10. Indians in Germany: There are about 1.7 lakh Indians and people of Indian origin (2018) in Germany. The Indian diaspora mainly comprises of professionals, technocrats, businessmen/traders and nurses. There has been an increase in the last few years in the number of qualified Indian professionals in Germany in the fields of IT, banking, finance, etc. There are a number of Indian associations in Germany. More than 17,000 (2018) Indian students are pursuing various courses in Germany.


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